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Child support and low income facts

When you're getting a divorce, one major concern you may have is how much you can pay in child support. You need to be able to afford your own needs along with the needs of your child, and you could be taking a major hit to your family income by splitting up. Will you need to struggle to pay an unfair amount of child support? You shouldn't, because strict guidelines are used in North Carolina.

North Carolina does provide some special help for those who have unable to pay child support or who can only pay small amounts. If you have a low income, paying child support can be hard, and no one should have to struggle because of it. The guidelines in North Carolina make sure that you have a sufficient income to support yourself based on the federal poverty level for one person in 2014. That income is $973. If you have an adjusted gross income of less than $1,097, then a minimum support order is made.

The minimum you can pay in child support each month is $50. It's also important to realize that if you start making more money, your total child support obligation will be calculated with that new income, but it won't be raised disproportionately. This helps you keep more money for your own standard of living to improve while still providing support to your child or children.

If you earn a large amount, then your income will be used to determine your child support obligation, but that won't be based on the child support schedule.

Source: NC Courts, "North Carolina Child Support Guidelines," accessed April 20, 2016

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