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Within North Carolina, the amount of child support is based on the North Carolina Child Support Guidelines, which uses the parties’ gross monthly income, to calculate the amount of the child support obligation each parent owes. The determining factor, among a few others, in setting a child support amount is the number of nights a child stays with each parent.
The Court may decide to impute income to a parent if it is found that he or she, in bad faith, chose to become unemployed or underemployed. Under these circumstances, a parent cannot escape his or her responsibility and will have income imputed to him or her.
Child support payments shall terminate upon the occurrence of certain situations, including:
- The minor child turns 18 years of age The minor child becomes emancipated
- The minor child dies
- If the minor child is still in primary or secondary school when he or she reaches age 18, support payments shall continue until the child graduates, otherwise ceases to attend school on a regular basis, fails to make satisfactory academic progress toward graduation or reaches age 20, whichever comes first, unless the court in its discretion orders that payments cease at 18 or prior to high school graduation
- The parent responsible for paying child support dies
- The custody of the minor child is changed to the party who was paying the support obligation