In my experience, the NC court system as it relates to child custody & support is heavily weighted in favor of mothers and detrimental to a father's relationship with his children.
Child custody: 99% of the time the court will award primary physical custody to the mother, regardless of circumstances unless they are very seriously detrimental to the children. The father will get every other weekend and one night every other week. There are many fathers who pursue joint physical custody and desire to be as active a parent as they can. But how can father's be all they want to be with their children when the court will only allow them limited time with their children?
Child Support: Because of the practices of the courts as stated above, these cases use the "calculator A" in determining support. This puts a great financial burden on the father, who now cannot afford to buy the things he wants to for his children or take them places where they have the opportunity to spend time together & bond. Not only does the father not get to spend much time with his kids, he also cannot afford to provide for them. This is now left to the mother to provide for most of their needs, and this gives the mother all the power to make decisions that affect the kids welfare. There is a far too great imbalance here, and it's bad for the kids.
Taxes: The mother gets all of the tax breaks and the father gets none. The father is paying a hefty amount in child support, and that comes out after taxes. But the mother does not have to show this as income, though she gets unrestricted use of the child support money.
Manipulation: I have dealt with this also. A mother can manipulate the system in any manner she sees fit, and the courts will not hold her accountible. All a mother has to do is play the innocent victim, and the courts will stick it to the father.
When the courts set up the child support enforcement system, it was definately needed due the number of deadbeat dads who were not supporting their children. But instead of the the lawmakers setting up the system so that it is fair to the mothers, children & fathers, it was set up with the mindset of "now we're going to stick it to those men and make them all pay for what they've done to these poor innocent mothers. Most of us know that marriages end for many reasons, and the wives are responsible just as often as men are.
The NC court system as it relates to child support and custody needs a major overhaul. It's weighted far to much in favor of the mothers with no consideration for the fathers. The effect of this is detrimental to the children, just the ones the system says it is in the best interest of.
I'm probably preaching to the choir, but I had to get my 2 cents in.