In North Carolina, child support guidelines have been enacted, which create a rebuttable presumption as to the reasonable monthly amount of child support. You should note that these guidelines are presumptive, that is, they will be followed in almost every case. They can be deviated from only when their application would be inequitable in some substantial way. Also, you will need to provide income verification that would include pay stubs or an employer’s statement, or if you are self-employed, then records for receipts and expenses. Also, you must provide your most recent tax returns, both federal and state. Your spouse will be required to do likewise.
It should be noted that a noncustodial spouse’s child support obligation continues until the minor child reaches the age of 18 or graduates from high school, whichever shall occur last, not to exceed age 20. If a minor child has reached the age of 18 but has not graduated from high school and is not making satisfactory progress toward graduation, then child support can terminate. Further, a child support obligation can terminate if a child becomes otherwise emancipated. Child support shall cease once a minor child is 18 and has graduated from high school or ceases to attend school on a regular basis.
A party by agreement may obligate himself or herself to make such payments beyond these limits. There is not a legal obligation on the part of the supporting spouse to pay for college education expenses. This obligation arises only if the supporting spouse voluntarily agrees to assume this obligation.
Both child custody and child support are issues that can be raised at any time during the child’s minority. Either spouse can petition the court to change its prior order of custody or support based on a showing by the moving party that circumstances have substantially changed.
Child support is not taxable as income to the spouse receiving it and is not a deduction to the spouse paying it. The federal tax exemption for each child normally goes to the custodial parent who has the child the majority of the time. This deduction, however, can go to either parent if both parents agree.