Bell Law Firm handles many different types of cases including child support. If you are not certain the amount of child support that you are entitled to under the law or that you may be obligated to pay, then please call our law firm at 704-992-1590 for a consultation and speak directly to a child support lawyer .
At our firm, we handle all types of child support matters including modifications of child support. A motion to modify your child support may be asking the court for an increase or a decrease depending on whether yours or the other parent's financial circumstances have changed substantially.
There are several steps. First you must determine whether you use Worksheet A or Worksheet B.
Worksheet A is used when one parent has primary physical custody of the minor children, which means that the parent has the minor children spend the night at their residence at least two-thirds of the year or at least 243 overnights out of 365 days in the year.
For example, if one parent has visitation every other weekend and two weeks in the summer, that is only 66 overnights per year and worksheet A would be used.
Worksheet B is used when both parents share custody of the minor children, which spend the night at both residences at least one-third of the year, or at least 123 overnights with each parent.
For example, if one parent has visitation every other weekend (52 overnights), every Wednesday night (52 overnights), and three weeks throughout the year for vacation and holidays (21 overnights), then that equals 125 overnights and worksheet B would be used.
Q: How do you calculate child support?
A: Start with the gross monthly income of both parties. Look at day care expenses, health insurance expenses, and other extraordinary medical expenses. This is a good place to start. Once you have these basic items, call our office at 704-992-1590 and we can walk you through the process.
Q: Am I paying too much in child support?
A: Possibly. Call our office today and we can run the numbers for you to determine if you are paying too much in child support.
Q: We agreed on child support by a separation agreement or consent order, is that enforceable?
A: Technically no. While parents may agree on a "number," ultimately child support cannot be waived and the court will set the child support in the best interest of the child. However, please note that parents agree to child support all of the time as a practical matter and it can save both parties thousands of dollars in child support litigation expenses until each child reaches 18 years of age.
Q: Does child support include summer camps and college expenses?
Q: My spouse is not taking a promotion or even took a job making less money to avoid paying child support. Can my spouse do this?
A: Yes, a person can voluntarily decrease their income. But, the court may impute income to that person. For example, if a person was making $100,000 per year in a sales job and decided to become a manager making $65,000 per year, then the court would impute $35,000 extra to that person's income because the court would say that this person is capable of making more money. Thus, for purposes of child support, the court would use $100,000 as the grossly income, not $65,000.
Q: How do I decrease my child support?
A: Increase your custody and go to a shared custody arrangement, which would use Worksheet B. This is logical. If you are spending more time with your minor children, then you will be spending more money on meals and care that you would otherwise just be sending in the form of a child support check.
Q: How long do I have to pay child support?
A: Until the child reaches the age of 18 years old or if a child is 18 years of age or older and is still attending high school. Some other rare exceptions apply. A parent may also file an action with the court to cease child support at any time once the child reaches 18 years of age.
Q: Can I go to jail for not paying child support?
A: Yes, the court has contempt power to sanction the non-paying party for not complying and even place a person in jail for failing to pay court-ordered child support. Note: If the child support is not court-ordered, then you may not be held in contempt.