Deciding to get a divorce can be one of the most difficult times in a person’s life, especially if you are a parent. You may feel overwhelmed mentally and financially.

There are many things to be worried about such as trying to maintain your lifestyle, ensuring the well-being of the children and obtaining child support. Child support can be very expensive and usually impacts the spouse with a higher income.

How child support decisions are made

In 2015, the U.S. Department of Agriculture reported that raising a child from birth to age 18 costs $233,610 on average. Lawmakers consider this estimate when passing child support regulations. North Carolina is on the higher end of the spectrum compared to other states.

A common misconception among parents is that joint custody determines monthly payment amounts. That’s not the case in North Carolina and a handful of other states. In North Carolina, no matter what the custody situation is, payments are based on each spouse’s income. There are many factors that determine child support payments. Consider contacting a seasoned family law attorney to learn more about your individual payment amounts.

Why does child support vary so much?

The higher earning spouse usually pays child support, but there are a lot of other factors that can increase or decrease the amount of child support parents pay. Courts consider the following factors before issuing child support orders:

  • Geography/location of spouse receiving benefits
  • Custody situations
  • Remarriage
  • Alimony payments
  • Public assistance

Divorce is stressful and can be a tough situation to get through. However, if you focus on the common ground and the well-being of your child, you will make it through this difficult time.