When preparing to go to court for child support, it is important to understand what evidence will be relevant in helping you reach the best possible outcome for your case. I have compiled a list of eight things that you should bring to court with you. Please keep in mind that this list is non-exhaustive but a great starting point for gathering evidence for court!
1. Custodial Schedule
It is important to bring proof of the overnights you have had with your children to court because where your child resides determines which worksheet will be used to determine the amount of child support to be paid. This documentation can be as simple as printing out a calendar online and notating the nights where your child stayed with you. If you have not been documenting this previously, START NOW!
2. Proof of Income
It is very important to bring proof of your income as your monthly gross income is taken into account when calculating the monthly child support obligation. Typically, we ask clients for at least two years of proof of income. This proof of income can be shown through your W-2 or tax returns. If you work “under the table” have your employer provide you with a written and notarized statement showing how much you are receiving on a monthly gross basis.
3. Amount of the Child Support Recipient’s Income
Equally as important as proof of your income is proof of the child support recipient’s income as it is also taken into account when determining the monthly child support obligation. If you do not have access to this information you can obtain it through sending a request for discovery or issuing a subpoena to their employer.
4. Work Related Daycare Expenses
Work related daycare expenses are also included when determining the monthly child support obligation. Be sure to bring receipts of your payment to the childcare provider to court and if you are paying a family friend cash, STOP! You can pay them using a check or via an application such as Venmo or Apple Pay to keep a record of the expenses. Keep in mind that if you are going back to school and need childcare for your children, these expenses also count.
5. Medical Insurance Premiums
If you are responsible for your child’s medical insurance, be sure to bring proof of the monthly premium. You can determine the monthly premium by dividing the total monthly cost by the number of people on your policy. If you have more than one child on your medical insurance, you would take that number and multiply it by the number of children you are covering on your policy.
6. Extraordinary Expenses
Extraordinary expenses for your children are also considered. These can include but are not limited to braces, travel sports teams, and additional extracurricular activities. If you are incurring any of these expenses be sure to bring proof of payment to court.
7. Proof of What You Have Been Paying
If you are going to court for establishment of child support be sure to try and document the actual amount of money you have been spending to support your child. If you have already been paying child support directly to the opposing party without an order in place, make sure you have proof.
8. DNA Testing
Last but not least, if there is ANY question as to the paternity of your child, be sure to get a DNA test prior to the entry of an order. If the opposing party is not in agreement, then ASK THE JUDGE for an order of paternity testing.
Although this is not an exhaustive list, these are all things that you should ABSOLUTELY bring to court for a hearing on child support. The ultimate goal is to make sure that the amount of support that is ordered is a FAIR amount under the North Carolina child support guidelines and that the children have an adequate amount of child support.
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