North Carolina laws provide guidelines for determining the obligations parents have to support their children financially. The guidelines can be complicated to understand, and can be changed over time, as they were in January 2015.
Parents who are new to child support often ask the following two questions:
I have heard that there are different child support worksheets? What does that mean? Which one should use?
In NC, parents may use three basic worksheets (A, B and C) to determine the amount of child support that must be provided. The worksheet you should use depends on your custody situation.
Worksheet A is used when one parent has primary physical custody of the child(ren) for more than 243 overnights during the year.
Worksheet B is used when one parents has primary physical custody of one or more of the children and the parents share custody of another child. Sharing means that one child lives with the other parent at least 123 overnights per year.
Worksheet C is used when parents have two or more children and primary physical custody of all children is split between the parents.
What are extraordinary expenses?
These are expenses that are child-related and that are part of the child’s life style, and are in addition to child support. Tuition at a special or private elementary or secondary schools is an extraordinary expense if there is a history of the child attending a special or private school for a period of time. Tutoring for special needs children can be extraordinary, as can be physical or speech therapies or other therapies that are needed for the child’s care.
The court will look at these expenses to determine if they are reasonable, necessary and in the child’s best interest. The expenses will be ordered paid pro rata (in proportion) to the parent’s incomes.
More detailed information about the updated law, including the complete text, can be found in the North Carolina Child Support Guidelines.