Child Support/Spousal Support

Child Support/Spousal Support

Seeking support is the process in which one party legally requests the opposing party to pay them a certain sum of money per month. Individuals can ask for spousal support before or during a divorce or child support at any time after the child’s birth, but before they turn 18. 

When going through a divorce or child custody process, support isn’t just given. Individuals have to ask for and prove support. 

How to Prove Support

Proving support includes finding out how much the other side makes. This can include income from employment or self-employment, royalties, rental income, or other forms of earnings. Proving income can be done by:

  • Subpoenas: Subpoenas can be issued to people or businesses to get information. Likely, if you’re trying to request information on someone else, it won’t be possible without a legal subpoena. These subpoenas can be sent to banks, employers, schools, etc.
  • Discovery: Similarly, you can ask for discovery which is when you can request answers from the other side on things like income, employment, etc.

What is Child Support Based Off Of?

Part of proving support is knowing what it’s based off of in order to consider yourself eligible. For child support, any parent can ask for it at any time, the Court can’t take this right away. However there are some factors that will determine how much a parent will get. 

In North Carolina, child support is set based upon the North Carolina Guidelines. There are three different worksheets depending upon which type of custody you have. If you have primary physical custody, worksheet A will be used. If you are sharing physical custody and the other side has more than 124 nights per year, you will use worksheet B. If you have a situation in which you have at least one child and the other side has at least one child then that is split custody and worksheet C will be used. Regardless of which worksheet is used, you have to prove:

  • Monthly gross income- based on jobs, rental income, overtime, bonuses, commissions, gifts, other biological children living with you or if you’re paying support to another parent for a biological child etc.
  • Work-related child care costs
  • The cost of health insurance for the minor child only 
  • Extraordinary expenses- private school, disabilities, transportation, etc.

What is Spousal Support Based On?

Just like child support, there are many different factors that go into determining spousal support. However, unlike child support, spousal support isn’t as permanent or as guaranteed. There are deadlines for when you can ask for spousal support and there can be limits on its duration. Spousal support factors include:

  • If their income is not enough to support their current needs. The Court will take into account the standard of living enjoyed during the marriage, but in most cases, after separation, it may not be possible for both parties to live at the same standard. 
  • The age, physical condition, emotional state, and financial condition of both spouses
  • The length of the marriage
  • The ability of the payer spouse to support the recipient and still support themself
  • Whether or not there was any marital fault involved
  • Whether or not the spouses have children

What if the Other Side Isn’t Paying Up?

In some cases, there may be situations where one side prematurely stops making payments. In this situation, your attorney can file a motion to have the other side help in contempt. They may also be ordered to pay fines, spend time in jail, or their custody rights may be at stake.

To pay the unpaid support and future support, their income can be garnished, they can lose their driver’s license or passport, and they may be responsible for the other side’s legal fees.

If you’re in need of a family law attorney in North Carolina to help with issues pertaining to spousal support, alimony, child support, divorce, custody, property division, equitable distribution etc. please contact us or call 919-213-7449.