Smith v. Grant (North Carolina 2022)

2022-NCCOA-240, N.C. Ct. App. 2022)
April 2022

A child support order can’t be based on speculation. The parents appeared before the court to determine custody and child support for their child. Prior to hearing, the parents agreed on a joint legal custody and a visitation schedule but the trial court determined child support. The final order granted the mother primary physical custody of the child and calculated child support using Worksheet A, which is based on one parent having less than 123 night of visitation per year. The father appealed, arguing the use of Worksheet A was incorrect. The appellate court reversed and remanded. The trial court improperly speculated the amount of parenting time the father would exercise. The trial court used evidence of the father’s past visitation with the child, which didn’t amount to a full year.