Child support when both parents are absent


#1

Hello there. I have a question regarding the NC child support guidelines/state statues. I am close to this situation and attempting to help ‘guide’ the custodial father to ensure that he is fully informed of the process as well as his rights.

A few months ago, I was reading through as much information as I could, and I clearly remember reading that in situations where BOTH parents are absent, BOTH must be considered for child support. (Of course, I cannot find the screen shot I took now!)

The situation:
Father has full legal custody of one minor son. Due to deployments, son resided with paternal grandmother. Upon medical retirement, grandmother refused relocation of son to fathers custody. Father has not pursued legal action due to finances, situation, believed best interests of child, etc.

Fast Forward. Paternal grandma has now opened CSE case. Has verbalized that she will ‘pay’ father any amount that she is awarded, and intentions are simply to ensure that fathers significant other would be hindered if she decided to file for support with their son.

The mother has visitation of minor son, but no legal custody. Grandmother states she had no desire to seek support from son’s mother.

My question is, can they accurately calculate a child support order for Father without considering Mother’s support obligations also?

It’s hard to find information regarding this situation due to it being unique. Any information would be helpful. (Including what to expect, effect this has on any potential orders regarding second child, resources for veterans legal aid, etc.)


#2

Child Support Enforcement will calculate child support based on the custodial situation of the child. The biological parents’ incomes are always calculated into child support unless a biological parent’s parental rights have been terminated. So CSE will have to consider the mother’s income (she has visitation, therefore, her parental rights have not been terminated).

If the grandmother has a court order granting her custody of the child, then CSE will require both parents to pay child support.

I’m not sure I understand what you mean by potential orders for a second child.


#3

Thank you for your reply!
To run down the custody facts- Father has full custody. Mother has visitation. Grandmother does NOT have custody, but child has lived with grandmother since 3 years old due to fathers frequent deployments.

So the fact that the child support enforcement agency is proceeding with this CS case without gathering any information from the mother is somehow ‘against the rules’ as such? If so, what can be done? (Obviously this father is completely willing to financially support his eldest child, and actually was sending a few hundred dollars from every paycheck up until he had his youngest son and went through a financially rough time. The eldest son has a great quality of life, and the grandparents are easily able (and willing) to financially provide for the grandson. This is only about being able to financially support BOTH of his children, not shirking his responsibility for one.)

What I meant by ‘potential child support case’ is basically, grandma doesnt like her son’s current partner. They have a child together. The grandma verbally stated that she is only pursuing child support for her oldest grandson to prevent the mother of her youngest grandson from obtaining a ‘higher support amount’ if she decided to file. She also stated that she intends to return all CS funds she receives directly back to her son. (Basically, it’s a case of ‘i’m gonna get this child support amount on paper so that if things go bad with the current partner, then that woman can’t get anything!’…Yes, she is that kind of person.)

The father in this situation is supposed to ‘come to an agreement’ with the child support enforcement agency in the next week. I know that he is having issues affording everything right now anyway (Recently retired from the military) and I am worried that the factors will result in an unfair award amount. The mother stated a number in the $400 dollar range, which is a LOT when you are barely making ends meet as it is. Considering the fact that nobody is intending to pursue or even factor in the mothers obligation to this child, What are his options? Can he refuse the voluntary agreement with CS, go in front of a judge, and request that the mothers income be considered also?

Thank you again for your reply. I really do appriciate it!


#4

The father can ask the child support agent why the mother’s income is not being calculated.

It is correct that the father does not have to agree to a voluntary support agreement through CSE. If he does not agree, CSE will file a court action and as you said, the case will go before a judge.

Keep in mind that child support figures are based on gross income (before taxes). Check out our child support calculator to get an idea of what child support might look like.