How is child support determined? What are the North Carolina Child Support Guidelines?
All states have adopted guidelines that set automatic rates of child support according to certain variable criteria related to family income and the number of children. The current North Carolina Child Support Guidelines became effective on October 1, 2006 and provide detailed instructions for those families with incomes of less than $300,000 per year. Child support calculations are made by using pre-printed worksheets, available in three forms. Here we will walk through each factor that the guidelines consider in determining the obligation.
Number of Overnights
Your custody schedule has a direct impact your child support obligation. Child support is calculated based on the number of overnights the child or children spend with each parent. Worksheet A recognizes a situation in which one parent has primary custody (more than 243 days per year). Worksheet B is applicable to parents who share custody jointly.
Monthly Gross Income
The income of both parents is used pursuant to our guidelines. This figure should reflect the gross income – before taxes. Income can include more than a salary, it is income from any source. A few of the types of income that are to be included are as follows: commissions, bonuses, dividends, severance pay as well as rental income, gifts and alimony received.
Pre-existing Child Support
If either parent is currently paying child support for another child, that child support obligation will be included in your calculation.
Monthly Work-Related Child Care Costs
Reasonable work-related child care costs are part of the child support calculation. This refers to the cost of day care, nannies or babysitters, as well as track-out camps.
Health Insurance Premiums
The out-of-pocket expense to insure each child is recognized by the guidelines. If an employer pays the premiums, then it should not be included on your child support worksheet. If the premium paid is for a family plan, and there is no way to determine how much of the premium goes towards the child’s insurance policy, the amount paid each month should be divided by the number of people on the plan to determine how much of the premium is for the child.
Expenses for special or private elementary or secondary schools to meet a child’s particular educational needs, for instance if the child is disabled, is considered by the guidelines. Extraordinary expenses can also refers to the cost of transporting the child between the parents homes.
Factors Not Considered
Some fixed expenses that are used in other states for the calculation of child support — such as rent or mortgage, automobile payments, and utilities — are not expressly used in making the child support calculation in this state. Instead, such expenses are implicitly accounted for, as a general matter, in the North Carolina Guidelines amounts. Child support is a payment in an amount to meet the reasonable needs of the child for health, education and maintenance taking into consideration the incomes, child care costs and health insurance costs, etc. of each party.