10 Steps of Divorce Part 7
Who can file for a Support Order
Before we discuss who can file for a support order let's first understand what a support order is. A Support Order is an Order from the court to pay Child Support, Alimony, or some other form of financial support for the family.
These are a few different Support Orders you can file a consideration for during the divorce process.
What is Child Support?
Child Support is an order given by the court system that entitles all children financial support until they turn 18 years old. This is a commitment to the children from the court system that is meant to provide them with the security of their needs being met. While the payments of the order are generally monitored and enforced by the state, they do not police what is done with the payment. It is important to remember that if one parent receives payment from the other that that money can/should be used for the child's needs directly and/or to reimburse the other party for monies spent above their contribution to the child's well being.
What is Alimony?
Alimony is continued spousal support ordered by a judge that entitles one party to receive financial support for a designated period of time. However, in North Carolina there are no set guidelines for a determination of alimony therefore it is ordered at the discretion of the judge assigned to hear the complaint. Typically when contemplating a Alimony Order the Judge will take the following factors into consideration:
- The Length of the Marriage
- The Financial Status of both parties including financial dependency
- Unique to NC is that when contemplating Alimony, Marital Misconduct is a determining factor
How to File?
If you are going through the divorce process and have agreed to be the residential parent or if you are by default the residential parent and are in the process of filing custody you should talk with your attorney about filing a motion for a support order. Much like any other motion the other party must be served and given 30 days to respond before a date can be set for the complaint to be heard before a judge or magistrate. During the process of a Support order both parties will have to disclose financial records including but not limited to income.
Who can File?
When it comes to child support, any parent or person who provides care for a child in their home can file for child support. In a divorce/separation situation this person is usually the person who by choice, agreement, or default action becomes the primary custodian of the child/children.
When it comes to Alimony any party who was fully or partially financially dependent on the opposing party can petition the court for Alimony. Furthermore, if you are the dependent spouse and the supporting spouse showed marital misconduct you might be able to receive alimony on those grounds.
I understand that these are only a few answers and that every situation is different; so an answer for one person might not apply at all to someone else. If you have any more questions regarding your situation make sure to contact your lawyer. If you do not have any current representation and have additional questions please feel free to reach out to me and I will do my best to help you or find you the answer that helps.
Jerkins Law, PLLC