Child custody is a touchy subject when it comes to divorce proceedings. It is often one of the most intense parts that doesn’t always leave both parties satisfied in the end. Most of the time, the father ends up with the undesired outcome. According to Custody X Change, divorced North Carolina fathers on average get around 28 percent of the year to spend with their kids.
To make matters worse for them, most are also required to pay child support until the kid becomes an adult. It may help with the child’s development and the sole custody parent’s situation, but it is can be frustrating for these parents to continue paying for someone that they rarely see. This as well as other potential factors could lead them to stop paying for support altogether. It is important to recognize when this is most likely to occur so you know what to do when you stop receiving your child support paychecks.
Your child is almost an adult
Under North Carolina’s current laws, child support ends once the child either turns 18 or graduates high school. If they graduate high school before they turn 18, then it stops once they turn 18. If they turn 18 before graduating, then the noncustodial parent must continue providing until they graduate or turn 20.
Your ex might be confused on how this works. They might misunderstand the law and end child support sooner than they need to because they got the age limits mixed up. Make sure to remind them about these regulations when you get the chance so they can avoid making a mistake.
Major changes in either spouse’s lives
Something could happen in your former spouse’s life that might make them unable to continue providing support. Perhaps they lose their high-earning job that made the court determine that they should provide to you and the kid in the first place, or maybe they started seeing someone else and are building a new family.
On the other hand, they could stop giving money because your life is becoming different. If you met someone new who is willing to help you raise your kid, then they might think that they no longer have to financially support you or your child.
In the event that these changes occur in either you or your ex’s lives, North Carolina does allow parents to modify child custody and support. However, if the ex can no longer afford to pay or doesn’t want to pay as much, they need to file a claim to request for the change. They shouldn’t automatically stop paying just because you have a potentially new spouse coming soon.
The penalties for not paying
If your ex stops paying for custody for one reason or another without consulting, then you might have to take them to court. You can either contact North Carolina’s Child Support Enforcement Program to get the parent to pay up by threatening to suspend their license, passport or withhold income. You can also request for a support hearing to see why they aren’t providing payment. If the court determines that they are holding back, then they could face additional fines and potential jail time.
It can be difficult for your whole family when your ex refuses to pay what they agreed to in court. If you are struggling with child support issues, consult with a family law attorney to see what your next step should be.