Over the years, the news media have focused on fathers who make – or don’t make – their court-ordered child support payments. While historically dads have been responsible for providing child support, a recent report of American lawyers says the gender scales are tipping when it comes to the financial obligations of divorced parents.
According to the American Academy of Matrimonial Lawyers, 56% of the country’s divorce lawyers say there has been a rise in the number of mothers paying child support over the past three years. Nearly half of the respondents also noted that women have increasingly become responsible for alimony over the same period.
AAML president Ken Altshuler said in a news release that the shift in maternal responsibility is a reflection of societal changes, such as the ability of women to achieve higher levels of career success.
In North Carolina, the amount of required child support can change as a parent’s financial situation changes. The state typically calculates payments based on the custody setup and overall gross income of the parents, but may also take into account unanticipated financial hardships, as might have happened when countless numbers of divorced parents were laid off from work during the recession.
Failing to make required child support payments may be considered contempt of court and is subject to considerable penalties. Sadly, the N.C. Department of Social Services Child Support Enforcement Program reported there were more than 400,000 cases of unpaid child support in North Carolina in fiscal year 2011.
Seeking the advice of a North Carolina child support and divorce lawyer can be very important when it comes to defining your financial responsibilities after your marriage is dissolved. Understanding your rights and obligations, as well as what legal steps you must take to make modifications under North Carolina family law, can ensure that your child receives the optimal support he or she needs to grow and thrive for years to come.