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 variablecriteria related to family income and number of children. In North Carolina, the Child Support Guidelines are based on the combined gross incomes of the father and mother of the child. The current North Carolina Child Support Guidelines became effective on October 1, 2006. The Guidelines must be reviewed, at a minimum, every three years. These Guidelines recognize that child support is a shared obligation. The parties’ shared monetary obligation is computed by considering both parents’ gross income as though the combined income dictates certain child-rearing costs, taking into account responsibility for other children, work-related daycare, and extraordinary medical expenses attributable to the child. These calculations are made are pre-printed worksheets, available in three forms. The current North Carolina Guidelines list child support amounts for families of up to $300,000 annual combined gross income, according to the number of children of the marriage. Adjustments are then figured in for ordinary additional costs such as work-related daycare expenses and health insurance premiums. However, other fixed expenses that are used in some 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. .

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