5 Myths About Child Support

Child support is mandated by the State of North Carolina.  It’s calculated using the parents income and how many children the parties have together.  It also factors in if one of the parties pays for medical insurance for the minor children, and if there are any extra ordinary expenses for the minor children.

Those are the facts, but there are a lot of misconceptions about how this process works.

Here are the top myths to be aware of when it comes to child support in NC.

Myth #1: The court considers a parent’s monthly bills such as the mortgage, car note, groceries, vacations, etc.

A child support order does consider your salary, if you pay medical insurance, and any extraordinary expenses for the minor children or children.

Myth #2: If you don’t pay support, you can’t have any visitations with your children.

Child Support and Child Custody are two different areas of family law.  Your visitations or custody rights are not terminated if you do not pay child support.

Yes, you do have an obligation to take care of your minor children, not paying child support or being in arrears does not suspend any custodial rights you may have.

mom supporting child on a walk.

Myth #3: If I stop working, then I don’t have to pay.

The court understands that life happens, and people may get laid off, lose their jobs, have an accident at work, etc.  However, you will have to find a job after one of these events happens as you cannot remain unemployed indefinitely.  The court will give you a chance to find a job, and you must show proof that you are looking for a job by providing the court with proof of job applications.

Myth #4: If I have arrears when my child turns 18, I don’t have to finish paying.

If you have arrears you must pay your arrears.  If the custodial parent who is receiving the support decides to cancel the arrears, then you will not have to pay.  However, unless those arrears are cancelled you must pay them, even if your child is 18.  You will not incur further monthly obligations for child support if your child is over 18 and or has graduated high school, but you must pay your arrears.

Myth #5: Child support is in effect after 18 if the child is attending college.

In the State of North Carolina, a person is obligated to make child support payments until the minor child turns 18 and has graduated high school.

If your child graduates at 17 from high school, then you must still pay until they turn 18. If your child graduates high school after 18, then you must pay until they graduate high school.

In the State of North Carolina, you are not obligated by law to pay child support for a child who is 18 and has graduated college.

When to seek the help of an attorney

In any family law situation where children are involved, you should consult with the experienced attorneys at Weaver, Bennett & Bland. We can help you navigate the legal course of your child support case, and then represent you in court.