LGBT couples faced with divorce are frequently faced with some challenges that they may not have thought they would ever have to deal with, and one of these challenges is the question of child custody and child support. Custody arrangements for children in divorce have a large influence on the determination of child support in an LGBT divorce. Sometimes a step-parent finds themselves with no rights to a child at all, if that parent has not adopted the child legally. This can be particularly true if one of the two LGBT parents is biologically related to the child. As LGBT child support lawyers serving North Carolina, we often find that a parent who has no legal rights to custody will generally have no financial obligations to pay child support.
However, the state of North Carolina has an Equitable Parent Doctrine. This can allow a spouse to keep parenting rights, even without being a biological relative or legally adoptive parent, if it can be shown with the help of an LGBT child support lawyer that a parenting relationship was in place. This ruling originally only applied to heterosexual couples, but in the 2015 Supreme Court decision which expanded marriage rights to LGBT couples, this doctrine expanded, as well. One of the criteria to establish the existence of a parenting relationship is the willingness of the parent in question to make child support payments. The other circumstances which designate a parenting relationship include:
- Both biological parent and child profess that a parenting relationship exists between them.
- The equitable parent wishes to have parental rights and is willing to pay child support.
When is a Spouse is Required to Pay Child Support in North Carolina?
If during an LGBT divorce, one spouse wishes to make a legal claim for child custody or visitation rights, even if that person never formally adopted the child, that spouse will need to pay child support. In contrast, in situations where both parents have legal parental rights, either through adoption or biology, child support payments are necessary. In order to determine the child support needs for your specific situation, consult an LGBT child support attorney in North Carolina today.
LGBT child support lawyers understand how difficult it is to go through a divorce. In addition, the legal framework of divorce and child support is frequently at odds with the reality of same-sex marriage, and even though legally, the laws governing your divorce may be the same as the laws in anyone else’s divorce, same-sex unions present some unique situations which can cause those laws to interfere in unexpected and inconvenient ways.
Payment and Use of Child Support: Insights from LGBT Child Support Lawyers in North Carolina
Payment amounts for child support are determined by a formula which has been set up by the North Carolina Conference of Chief District Court Judges. This formula applies to couples, same-sex or otherwise, with a total annual income under $300,000, and will use income and other factors to determine the amount of child support to be paid. In addition to income, some factors which are considered are the number of days when the children are in the care of the spouse paying child support and other expenses related to the keeping and care of the child. Your LGBT child support attorney can help you arrive at a figure for the amount of child support you may receive or need to pay.
The reason for child support in LGBT divorce, and in any divorce, is to assist in the financial strain of the daily ongoing care of a child. Those expenses can include food, clothing, housing, medical bills, activities, and other items which are related to the needs of the child. LGBT Child Support lawyers and attorneys will discuss the parenting situation with you and determine the best route forward for you to keep your parental rights.
This formula for child support in North Carolina outlines the kinds of expenses which may be paid using those funds. However, even though these are the intended uses for the child support payments, the spouse receiving child support payments is not required to track the way they spend this money for the child. If you suspect an ex-spouse is misusing child support funds, you should contact an LGBT child support lawyer to explore the legal options that may be available to you.
How LGBT Child Support Lawyers Calculate Payments in North Carolina: Insights from LGBT Child Support Lawyers in North Carolina
In the state of North Carolina, child support payments are calculated using a formula that considers the income of each spouse. This formula, which has changed in recent years, considers the income of the spouse who will be required to pay child support, along with the income of the other parent before making a determination as to payment. Other factors which are considered include IRA accounts, stock options, and other such assets. The formula used is called North Carolina Child Support Guidelines, and if not adhered to once an amount is calculated, the parent responsible for paying may be faced with charges of contempt of court. For this reason, as LGBT child support attorneys in North Carolina, we strongly urge you to ensure that your child support payments are made on time, every time.
The number of days or nights a child spends with a parent is also a factor in the amount of child support paid, as well as the number of children involved in the case, and any other form of spousal support being paid such as alimony or child support for additional children. It can easily become overwhelming to consider, so we urge any LGBT couple going through a divorce with children to contact an LGBT child support lawyer right away for assistance with the complex legal system.
Getting LGBT Child Support Matters Settled in North Carolina: Insights from LGBT Child Support Lawyers in North Carolina
The question of child support can frequently be settled without appearing in court, in the form of a document known as a Separation Agreement. The question of child support, discussed in this document, is governed by a number of provisions in North Carolina General Statutes, Chapter 50. These statutes, along with a few others, determine who is allowed to seek child support, who can be required to pay child support, and the time frames in which a child support case may be heard. Even though this is an issue which can frequently be decided out of court, it is important to work with an LGBT child support attorney in order to ensure that you comply with the letter of the law.
How to File a Child Support Action in North Carolina with Help from LGBT Child Support Lawyers
As you may have already surmised if you have done some research or spoken with an LGBT child support lawyer in North Carolina, a spouse in a divorcing couple (same-sex or otherwise) has the ability to file a child support action either along with the divorce filing, along with a request for alimony without divorce, or as a separate action entirely.
The question of child support, as previously mentioned, can often be settled privately with the help of LGBT child support lawyers, avoiding the inconvenience and stress of appearing in court, unless one spouse requires the court’s assistance in enforcing a child support agreement. The child support action must be brought inside the county where the parent or child lives, or in the county in which the child is physically present.
Child Custody Issues and LGBT Couples in North Carolina
In addition to child support issues, the question of child custody is another topic common to divorcing couples in North Carolina. The rules regarding child custody, like many other such sets of laws, can be a little unwieldy for same-sex couples, but with the help of an LGBT child support attorney, they can usually be navigated.
When dealing with custody issues, LGBT child support lawyers will almost always urge you to try to avoid a custody battle in court. These situations are very stressful and damaging to the children in the best of circumstances, and with the sometimes unfair state of existing law relating to same-sex couples, a courtroom which is bound by the law as it is written, and legal precedent, could be the worst venue for the future of your child to be decided.
Sit down with your LGBT child support attorneys and do your best to talk it out. If you can come to some kind of compromise as to legal custody, physical custody, visitation, and child support payment amounts, you will be saving both yourselves and the children a great deal of stress and money, while also arriving at an arrangement which the court may not be in a position to order. It is always difficult, but with the help and support of an LGBT child support lawyer, settling the matter between yourselves is by far the preferable course of action.
Reach Out to a North Carolina LGBT Child Support Attorney to Discuss Your Case
Whatever your situation, if you are an LGBT couple seeking divorce and have children involved, consult an LGBT child support attorney in North Carolina today.