Can You Reduce the Amount of Child Support You Pay in North Carolina?

When can you request the court modify your child support so you pay less?

Child support is a certain amount of money paid by the non-custodial parent each month to support the needs of the child.

How is the Child Support Determined?

The child support (amount) is determined, based on a set formula in accordance with the NC child support guidelines. It takes into consideration several factors such as income of parties, insurance costs, daycare costs, etc. Each situation is different. Whether you are entitled to receive child support or obligated to pay child support, will depend on close review of your specific individual circumstances. You can use our free child support calculator to determine the amount of child support you will likely pay.

The amount of child support depends largely on the gross income of each parent and the number of overnight visits each parent has with the child.

However if circumstances change, the non-custodial parent can file for downward modification of child support. What are these changed circumstances?

Grounds for Modification of Child Support

If the non-custodial parent has lost his job due to the current economic situation, he can apply to modify child support. The rationale is that since the income has gone down (or is not there), it is reasonable ground for downward modification. However it is necessary to show that the loss of employment has resulted as due to circumstances beyond the individual’s control. The court also wants to know that efforts have been made to seek alternative employment, but which have been unsuccessful.

Seek Legal Advice Early

In cases where both parties are unable to mutually agree on child support, the amount is determined by the court. In such a situation, the non custodial parent is legally obligated to make the child support payments on time. If for any reason, you find yourself unable to meet your payment commitments, it is best to seek legal advice early and file petition for downward modification. Otherwise you risk facing contempt of court.