In North Carolina, there are presumptive guidelines, i.e. a formula, for calculating child support in the majority of child support cases. So what information do you need to calculate how much child support you may receive from the other parent or pay to the other parent in the event of separation or divorce?
Here is the required information:
- Both parents’ average monthly gross income;
- Any work-related child care expenses;
- The cost of the child(ren)’s health insurance premium; and
- Any “extraordinary” expenses such as private school for a child with special needs.
In addition to these expenses, you also need to know the physical custody schedule of the child(ren). If the child(ren) spend at least 243 overnights per year with one parent, then worksheet A is used to calculate child support and that parent will receive the highest amount of child support possible under the guidelines. If both parents have at least 123 overnights with the child(ren), Worksheet B is used and the actual number of overnights affects the amount of child support paid.
The Rosen Law Firm has a free North Carolina child support calculator online at www.rosen.com/calculator which you can use to get an estimate of the child support obligation in your situation. But keep in mind that calculating an accurate amount of child support can be tricky, especially if one or both parents are self employed or have an irregular income stream. All sources of income, including salaries, wages, bonuses and unemployment, must be taken into consideration and an attorney can help you best calculate your income and the other parent’s average monthly gross income for purposes of calculating child support. Also, if you have unusual financial circumstances, it may be prudent to request a deviation from the child support guidelines and an attorney can advise you on the best course of action.