In a proceeding to modify the amount of child support payable under a child support order that was entered at least three years before the pending motion to modify was filed, a difference of 15% or more between the amount of child support payable under the existing order and the amount of child support resulting from application of the guidelines based on the parents’ current incomes and circumstances shall be presumed to constitute a substantial change of circumstances warranting modification of the existing child support order.
What? This is what the guideline says…but what does it really mean?
It basically means that the court will be looking for a significant “change in circumstances” for the parent that is currently paying child support. Typically this means that the parent paying child support has had an increase or decrease in their wages. The court will not likely consider modification unless the increase or decrease in income is at least 15% up or 15% down from the time the last review of child support was made. However, there are other reasons for seeking modification besides income changes.
The person paying child support may be entitled to have credit given to them for certain things. For example, how many nights the child stays with the parent paying child support per month, other children that the parent is supporting, health care premiums paid by that parent for the child, or child care paid for the child. All of these things may become a factor when considering a modification.
You may be entitled to a modification or credits in your child support and it has not been reported properly. Regardless, if you are paying or receiving child support, it is in the best interest of the child to keep good records and understand what needs to be paid to support the child. Every court in North Carolina, and arguably the entire US, is working very hard for the best interests of the child in these situations. As always, the internet is full of information to educate yourself. Look up a NC Child Support Calculator to try and calculate what your proper amount should be.