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Finances and child support

When considering child support, the finances of both parents play a big role in everything from calculating support amounts, to a parent's ability to pay.

Elisa M Reiter | Aug 15, 2019

Changes to Child Support in Texas

$9200 To calculate child suport, the appropriate percentage will be applied to the first $9200 net monthly resources of the person paying child support (the obligor). The cap to which the percentages apply has increased through the years from $4000 to $6000 to $7500 to $8550, and now, to $9200. How to Caculate? In Texas, we calculate support based on the obligor's income. While unique circumstances arise that can justify a variance from the guidelines, the formula looks like this: 1. Ascertain the obligor's income from all sources, annually, and divide by 12. 2. Assure that in doing so, you have subtracted the required withholding and social security taxes for one person claiming one dependent, the cost of the child(ren)'s dependent health insurance coverage, and any union dues owed by the person paying support. The Texas Office of the Attorney General maintains charts of appropriate deductions. 3. After deducting appropriate amounts, the percentages to apply depend on the number of children before the Court: 1 child = 20% 2 children = 25% 3 children = 30% 4 children = 35% 4. Note that an employer's order to withhold from income for child support can and should be entered concurrently with your applicable order (parentage, divorce, modification). 5. Child support guidelines will vary if the person paying support is obligated to support other minor children who are not before the Court. Texas Family Code Sections 154.125 and 154.129 Texas Family Code Section 154.125 provides in section (a)(1) as follows: (a-1) The dollar amount prescribed by Subsection (a) is adjusted every six years as necessary to reflect inflation.  The Title IV-D agency shall compute the adjusted amount, to take effect beginning September 1 of the year of the adjustment, based on the percentage change in the consumer price index during the 72-month period preceding March 1 of the year of the adjustment, as rounded to the nearest $50 increment.  The Title IV-D agency shall publish the adjusted amount in the Texas Register before September 1 of the year in which the adjustment takes effect.  For purposes of this subsection, “consumer price index” has the meaning assigned by Section 341.201, Finance Code. Section 154.129 sets out guidelines to be applied in multiple family scenarios. There is an offset to the percentage applied to the obligor's net monthly resources, depending on the number of other minor children the obligor supports. Why Deviate From Guidelines? Compelling circumstances may warrant deviating from the guidelines. Do the payor's earnings substantially exceed the proposed cap? Is there a substantial distance between where the parties will be residing? Has the child historically been enrolled in private school? Does the child have demonstrable special needs? Does the child have a special talent? Intentional Unemployment or Underemployment The Court can and shall consider evidence as to whether the payor is intentionally underemployed or unemployed. Calculations and Charts There is a difference in calculating support for a person who is employed versus being self employed. Get help from an experienced family law attorney in ascertaining child support in your case. www.elisareiter.com

Katrin Eleonore Falco | Aug 5, 2019

Ex Refusing to Pay Pro Rata Child Support

Oftentimes, people have in their agreements or their orders allocation for what are called mandatory add-ons. Those include child care, un-reimbursed medical expenses, and health insurance premiums. Oftentimes, those stipulations and orders will also provide methods by which you notify the other party that you've paid those expenses, and notice requirements, things that you must do to make them aware of the fact that they've defaulted. While you may go into, in this particular instance, family court and file what's called an enforcement or a violation petition, you should consult with an attorney to review the agreement in its entirety, to make sure you've complied with any pre-conditions. If you have children and are considering a separation or divorce, one of the most important decisions you will have is how your children will be raised and cared for. This is difficult in an intact marriage; when parents are going through the emotional trauma of marital dissolution, this issue can become explosive. Jean M. Mahserjian, Esq., P.C. understands the complexity of the legal and human issues attached to child custody. We can help you obtain a complete custody arrangement that meets the individual needs of your children and addresses the unique circumstances of your family. Jean M. Mahserjian, Esq., is a New York family law and divorce attorney in Albany, Saratoga, and the surrounding areas. For more than 20 years, Jean has maintained her capital region law firm, located on Route 9 in Clifton Park, New York. The practice encompasses all areas of family and matrimonial law, and an online uncontested divorce service.

Inna V. Telkova | Apr 16, 2019

What counts as income when calculating child support?

Salaries and Wages Salaries and wages are payments made by an employer. Income: Yes. How It's Calculated: Gross income reported on paystubs, W-2 form, or tax returns. Note: Any contributions to pensions, 401-K, IRA, other retirement accounts, health savings accounts, or flexible spending plans cannot be deducted when calculating gross income. Self-Employment Self-employment includes payments for freelancing, contracting, owning a business, or any other activity that earns you money outside of a salaried or waged job. This can be anything from weekend dog-walking to selling crafts on Etsy to having an interest in a family business. Income: Yes. Note: The payments must be periodic. If you do door knocking and phone calling for a campaign in the 3 weeks preceding an election in exchange for the campaign paying you once, then this should not count as income since you will not be receiving it again. However, if you consistently receive self-employment payments throughout the year, then it will be income. How It's Calculated: Gross revenue - costs of goods sold - ordinary and necessary expenses for self-employment or business operations = gross income. If income varies month to month, then calculate the average based on yearly earnings. Note: Not all expenses recognized by the IRS may be deducted for child support income calculation purposes. For example, you cannot deduct depreciation expenses, investment tax credits, or other expenses that the court decides are excessive or inappropriate. Commissions Commissions are payments based on an employee's performance. This is common in sales positions where an employee earns a percentage of sales closed. Income: Yes. How It's Calculated: Average gross commissions reported on 3 recent paystubs or on a W-2 form. Expense Reimbursements or In-Kind Payments Expense reimbursements are payments by an employer, third-party, or a business for work-related expenses that you paid out-of-pocket. In-kind payments are services or items given by an employer, third-party, or a business in exchange for you performing work or giving them a product. For example, your employer provides you with free housing or you give a product (that you typically sell) to someone in exchange for a free body wax (instead of charing them money). Income: Maybe. Note: Expense reimbursements and in-kind payments will be considered income only if they reduce your personal living expenses. Thus, if you paid for airfare to go to a work conference and your employer reimbursed you, the reimbursement does not reduce your personal living expenses, so this would not count as income. However, if your employer gives you free housing, then your personal expenses are reduced since you no longer need to pay rent, so the benefit of the free housing will count as income. How It's Calculated: Because the types of reimbursements and in-kind payments can vary drastically, calculation will depend on the facts of your case. Overtime Overtime is payment for any work done in excess of a typical 40-hour work week. Income: Maybe. Note: Overtime will NOT count as income if all of the following statements are true: (1) overtime began after a filing of a petition in a divorce, separation, custody, parenting time, or support case; (2) work schedule or hours worked increased from what they were previously for the last 2 years before filing the petition; (3) overtime is voluntary; (4) overtime is either additional hours at the same job, a part-time job, or an additional job; (5) the overtime is paid as an hourly wage; (6) compensation structure did not change intentionally to affect child support calculation and obligation; and (7)a child support order, based on other income, will be at least equal to the guideline amount. How It's Calculated: Any overtime that does not meet all 7 criteria will be included with the 40-hour gross income reported on a paystub or W-2. For example, if prior to filing a custody and support order you worked 50 hour weeks, and then, after the court case began, you voluntarily picked up an hourly part-time job, increasing your total hours worked to 60, then the original 10 hours of overtime will count as income, but the new 10 hours of overtime will not. Unemployment, Underemployment, Part-Time Employment Unemployment is not working. Underemployment is working but earning less than you are capable of earning. Part-time employment is working less than 40 hours per week. Income: Yes. Note: The court presumes that every parent is capable of full-time work. If a parent is voluntarily unemployed, underemployed, or less than full-time employed, the court will determine how much a parent has the potential to earn and will assign that amount to the parent as if the parent is in fact earning that much. However, if a parent is working less than full-time because of incarceration, mental or physical incapacitation, or for a temporary time, then the court will not assign full-time income to that parent. Also, if a parent makes a genuine careers switch to a lower paying career, the court will not assign additional income so long as the benefits of the career switch outweigh any adverse effect on the child because of the decreased income. Nor will the court assign income to a parent that receives TANF (temporary assistance to needy families). The court also has a special rule on whether to assign income to parents who stay home to care for the joint children. How It's Calculated: The court will use one of the three options: (1) estimate based on employment potential, recent work history, occupational qualifications, job opportunities and earnings levels in the community; (2) the actual amount of unemployment compensation or workers' compensation benefits the parent receives, if any; or (3) the amount of income a parent could earn working 30 hours per week at 100 percent of the current federal or state minimum wage, whichever is higher. Worker's Compensation Worker's compensation are payments made to employees who are injured on the job. Income: Yes. How It's Calculated: Gross amount as reported on a worker's compensation statement. Unemployment Benefits Unemployment benefits are payments made by the government to a person who is unemployed and searching for work. Income: Yes. How It's Calculated: Gross amount as reported on an unemployment statement. Annuity Payments Annuity payments occur when a parent makes a lump sum or a series of payments to an insurance company and that company then disburses that money back to the parent periodically. Income: Yes. How It's Calculated: Gross amount as reported on an annuity statement. Military and Naval Retirement, Disability, and Pension Payments These are payments made to a parent pursuant to a parent retiring or becoming disabled. Income: Yes. How It's Calculated: Gross amount as reported on a statement. Social Security or Veteran Benefits This can be either monthly social security payments, apportioned veteran's benefits, or monthly survivors' and dependents' educational assistance. These payments are made by the government to the child. Income: Yes. Note: These payments are the income of the parent on whose eligibility the benefits are based. Spousal Maintenance Spousal maintenance is money paid to one parent by the other parent or another former spouse. Income: Yes. How It's Calculated: Average gross payments as reported on a tax return. Child Support Payments Child support payments are payments received by a parent for the purpose of supporting a child. Income: No. Note: Northstar kinship assistance payments, adoption assistance payments, and foster care subsidies are typically not income unless proven otherwise. Public Assistance Benefits Public assistance benefits include any assistance under AFDC, MFIP, MFIP-R, work first program, child care assistance through child care fund, any form of medical assistance, foster care, or other assistance based on need. Income: No. Note: This merely means that the assistance is not income. Your other income will still count towards your gross monthly total.

Bill Powers | Apr 1, 2019

Uniform Interstate Family Support Act. Chapter 52C - NCGA

Uniform Interstate Family Support Act. Chapter 52C - NCGA - Article 2. Jurisdiction 52C-2-201. Bases for jurisdiction over nonresident. (a) In a proceeding to establish or enforce a support order or to determine parentage of a child, a tribunal of this State may exercise personal jurisdiction over a nonresident individual or the individual's guardian or conservator if: (1) The individual is personally served with a summons and complaint within this State; (2) The individual submits to the jurisdiction of this State by consent in a record, by entering a general appearance, or by filing a responsive document having the effect of waiving any contest to personal jurisdiction; (3) The individual resided with the child in this State; (4) The individual resided in this State and provided prenatal expenses or support for the child; (5) The child resides in this State as a result of the acts or directives of the individual; (6) The individual engaged in sexual intercourse in this State and the child may have been conceived by that act of intercourse; or (7) Repealed by Session Laws 2015-117, s. 1, effective June 24, 2015. (8) There is any other basis consistent with the constitutions of this State and the United States for the exercise of personal jurisdiction. NC General Statutes - Chapter 52C 5 (b) The bases of personal jurisdiction set forth in subsection (a) of this section or in any other law of this State may not be used to acquire personal jurisdiction for a tribunal of the State to modify a child support order of another state unless the requirements of G.S. 52C-6-611 are met, or, in the case of a foreign support order, unless the requirements of G.S. 52C-6-615 are met. (1995, c. 538, s. 7(c); 2015-117, s. 1.) § 52C-2-202. Duration of personal jurisdiction. Personal jurisdiction acquired by a tribunal of this State in a proceeding under this Chapter or other law of this State relating to a support order continues as long as a tribunal of this State has continuing, exclusive jurisdiction to modify its order or continuing jurisdiction to enforce its order as provided by G.S. 52C-2-205, 52C-2-206, and 52C-2-211. (1995, c. 538, s. 7(c); 2015-117, s. 1.) § 52C-2-203. Initiating and responding tribunal of state. Under this Chapter, a tribunal of this State may serve as an initiating tribunal to forward proceedings to a tribunal of another state and as a responding tribunal for proceedings initiated in another state or foreign country. (1995, c. 538, s. 7(c); 1997-433, s. 10.1; 1998-17, s. 1; 2015-117, s. 1.) Uniform Interstate Family Support Act. Chapter 52C - NCGA - Article 2. Jurisdiction § 52C-2-204. Simultaneous proceedings. (a) A tribunal of this State may exercise jurisdiction to establish a support order if the petition or comparable pleading is filed after a petition or comparable pleading is filed in another state or foreign country only if: (1) The petition or comparable pleading in this State is filed before the expiration of the time allowed in the other state or the foreign country for filing a responsive pleading challenging the exercise of jurisdiction by the other state or the foreign country; (2) The contesting party timely challenges the exercise of jurisdiction in the other state or the foreign country; and (3) If relevant, this State is the home state of the child. (b) A tribunal of this State may not exercise jurisdiction to establish a support order if the petition or comparable pleading is filed before a petition or comparable pleading is filed in another state or a foreign country if: (1) The petition or comparable pleading in the other state or foreign country is filed before the expiration of the time allowed in this State for filing a responsive pleading challenging the exercise of jurisdiction by this State; (2) The contesting party timely challenges the exercise of jurisdiction in this State; and (3) If relevant, the other state or foreign country is the home state of the child. (1995, c. 538, s. 7(c); 2015-117, s. 1.) Uniform Interstate Family Support Act. Chapter 52C - NCGA - Article 2. Jurisdiction 52C-2-205. Continuing, exclusive jurisdiction to modify child support order. NC General Statutes - Chapter 52C 6 (a) A tribunal of this State that has issued a child support order consistent with the law of this State has and shall exercise continuing, exclusive jurisdiction to modify its child support order if the order is the controlling order and: (1) At the time of the filing of a request for modification, this State is the residence of the obligor, the individual obligee, or the child for whose benefit the support order is issued; or (2) Even if this State is not the residence of the obligor, the individual obligee, or the child for whose benefit the support order is issued, the parties consent in a record or in open court that the tribunal of this State may continue to exercise jurisdiction to modify its order. (b) A tribunal of this State that has issued a child support order consistent with the law of this State may not exercise continuing, exclusive jurisdiction to modify the order if: (1) All of the parties who are individuals file consent in a record with the tribunal of this State that a tribunal of another state that has jurisdiction over at least one of the parties who is an individual or that is located in the state of residence of the child may modify that order and assume continuing, exclusive jurisdiction; or (2) Its order is not the controlling order. (c) Repealed by Session Laws 2015-117, s. 1, effective June 24, 2015. (d) If a tribunal of another state has issued a child support order pursuant to the Uniform Interstate Family Support Act or a law substantially similar to that Act that modifies a child support order of a tribunal of this State, tribunals of this State shall recognize the continuing, exclusive jurisdiction of the tribunal of the other state. (d1) A tribunal of this State that lacks continuing, exclusive jurisdiction to modify a child support order may serve as an initiating tribunal to request a tribunal of another state to modify a support order issued in that state. (e) A temporary support order issued ex parte or pending resolution of a jurisdictional conflict does not create continuing, exclusive jurisdiction in the issuing tribunal. (f) Repealed by Session Laws 2015-117, s. 1, effective June 24, 2015. (1995, c. 538, s. 7(c); 1997-433, s. 10.2; 1998-17, s. 1; 2015-117, s. 1.) , Uniform Interstate Family Support Act. Chapter 52C - NCGA - Article 2. Jurisdiction 52C-2-206. Continuing jurisdiction to enforce child support order. (a) A tribunal of this State that has issued a child support order consistent with the law of this State may serve as an initiating tribunal to request a tribunal of another state to enforce: (1) The order if the order is the controlling order and has not been modified by a tribunal of another state that assumed jurisdiction pursuant to the Uniform Interstate Family Support Act; or (2) A money judgment for arrears of support and interest on the order accrued before a determination that an order of a tribunal of another state is the controlling order. (b) A tribunal of this State having continuing jurisdiction over a support order may act as a responding tribunal to enforce the order. NC General Statutes - Chapter 52C 7 (c) Repealed by Session Laws 2015-117, s. 1 Uniform Interstate Family Support Act. Chapter 52C - NCGA - Article 2. Jurisdiction 52C-2-207. Determination of controlling child support order. (a) If a proceeding is brought under this Chapter and only one tribunal has issued a child support order, the order of that tribunal controls and must be recognized. (b) If a proceeding is brought under this Chapter, and two or more child support orders have been issued by tribunals of this State, another state, or a foreign country with regard to the same obligor and same child, a tribunal of this State having personal jurisdiction over both the obligor and individual obligee shall apply the following rules and by order shall determine which order controls and must be recognized: (1) If only one of the tribunals would have continuing, exclusive jurisdiction under this Chapter, the order of that tribunal controls. (2) If more than one of the tribunals would have continuing, exclusive jurisdiction under this Chapter: a. An order issued by a tribunal in the current home state of the child controls; or b. If an order has not been issued in the current home state of the child, the order most recently issued controls. (3) If none of the tribunals would have continuing, exclusive jurisdiction under this Chapter, the tribunal of this State shall issue a child support order, which controls. (c) If two or more child support orders have been issued for the same obligor and same child, upon request of a party who is an individual or that is a support enforcement agency, a tribunal of this State having personal jurisdiction over both the obligor and the obligee who is an individual shall determine which order controls under subsection (b) of this section. The request may be filed with a registration for enforcement or registration for modification pursuant to Article 6 of this Chapter or may be filed as a separate proceeding. (c1) A request to determine which is the controlling order must be accompanied by a copy of every child support order in effect and the applicable record of payments. The requesting party shall give notice of the request to each party whose rights may be affected by the determination. (d) The tribunal that issued the controlling order under subsection (a), (b), or (c) of this section has continuing jurisdiction to the extent provided in G.S. 52C-2-205 or G.S. 52C-2-206. (e) A tribunal of this State that determines by order which is the controlling order under subdivision (b)(1) or (2) or subsection (c) of this section, or that issues a new controlling order under subdivision (b)(3) of this section, shall state in that order: (1) The basis upon which the tribunal made its determination; (2) The amount of the prospective support, if any; and (3) The total amount of consolidated arrears and accrued interest, if any, under all of the orders after all payments made are credited as provided by G.S. 52C-2-209. Uniform Interstate Family Support Act. Chapter 52C - NCGA - Article 2. Jurisdiction (f) Within 30 days after issuance of an order determining which is the controlling order, the party obtaining the order shall file a certified copy of the order in each tribunal that issued or registered an earlier order of child support. A party or support enforcement agency obtaining the order that fails to file a certified copy is subject to appropriate sanctions by a tribunal in which the issue of failure to file arises. The failure to file does not affect the validity or enforceability of the controlling order. (g) An order that has been determined to be the controlling order, or a judgment for consolidated arrears of support and interest, if any, made pursuant to this section must be recognized in proceedings under this Chapter. (1995, c. 538, s. 7(c); 1997-433, s. 10.3(b); 1998-17, s. 1; 2015-117, s. 1.)

Bill Powers | Jan 13, 2019

Child Custody - Chapter 50-13 NCGA

50-13.1. Action or proceeding for custody of minor child. (A-C) (a) (See Editor's note) Any parent, relative, or other person, agency, organization or institution claiming the right to custody of a minor child may institute an action or proceeding for the custody of such child, as hereinafter provided. Any person whose actions resulted in a conviction under G.S. 14-27.21, G.S. 14-27.22, G.S. 14-27.23, or G.S. 14-27.24 and the conception of the minor child may not claim the right to custody of that minor child. Unless a contrary intent is clear, the word "custody" shall be deemed to include custody or visitation or both. (a1) Notwithstanding any other provision of law, any person instituting an action or proceeding for custody ex parte who has been convicted of a sexually violent offense as defined in G.S. 14-208.6(5) shall disclose the conviction in the pleadings. (b) Whenever it appears to the court, from the pleadings or otherwise, that an action involves a contested issue as to the custody or visitation of a minor child, the matter, where there is a program established pursuant to G.S. 7A-494, shall be set for mediation of the unresolved issues as to custody and visitation before or concurrent with the setting of the matter for hearing unless the court waives mediation pursuant to subsection (c). Issues that arise in motions for contempt or for modifications as well as in other pleadings shall be set for mediation unless mediation is waived by the court. Alimony, child support, and other economic issues may not be referred for mediation pursuant to this section. The purposes of mediation under this section include the pursuit of the following goals: (1) To reduce any acrimony that exists between the parties to a dispute involving custody or visitation of a minor child; (2) The development of custody and visitation agreements that are in the child's best interest; (3) To provide the parties with informed choices and, where possible, to give the parties the responsibility for making decisions about child custody and visitation; (4) To provide a structured, confidential, nonadversarial setting that will facilitate the cooperative resolution of custody and visitation disputes and minimize the stress and anxiety to which the parties, and especially the child, are subjected; and (5) To reduce the relitigation of custody and visitation disputes. (c) For good cause, on the motion of either party or on the court's own motion, the court may waive the mandatory setting under Article 39A of Chapter 7A of the General Statutes of a contested custody or visitation matter for mediation. Good cause may include, but is not limited to, the following: a showing of undue hardship to a party; an agreement between the parties for voluntary mediation, subject to court approval; allegations of abuse or neglect of the minor child; allegations of alcoholism, drug abuse, or domestic violence between the parents in common; or allegations of severe psychological, psychiatric, or emotional problems. A showing by either party that the party resides more than fifty miles from the court may be considered good cause. 50-13.1. Action or proceeding for custody of minor child. (D-I) (d) Either party may move to have the mediation proceedings dismissed and the action heard in court due to the mediator's bias, undue familiarity with a party, or other prejudicial ground. (e) Mediation proceeding shall be held in private and shall be confidential. Except as provided in this Article, all verbal or written communications from either or both parties to the mediator or between the parties in the presence of the mediator made in a proceeding pursuant to this section are absolutely privileged and inadmissible in court. The mediator may assess the needs and interests of the child, and may interview the child or others who are not parties to the proceedings when he or she thinks appropriate. (f) Neither the mediator nor any party or other person involved in mediation sessions under this section shall be competent to testify to communications made during or in furtherance of such mediation sessions; provided, there is no privilege as to communications made in furtherance of a crime or fraud. Nothing in this subsection shall be construed as permitting an individual to obtain immunity from prosecution for criminal conduct or as excusing an individual from the reporting requirements of Article 3 of Chapter 7B of the General Statutes or G.S. 108A-102. (g) Any agreement reached by the parties as a result of the mediation shall be reduced to writing, signed by each party, and submitted to the court as soon as practicable. Unless the court finds good reason not to, it shall incorporate the agreement in a court order and it shall become enforceable as a court order. If some or all of the issues as to custody or visitation are not resolved by mediation, the mediator shall report that fact to the court. (h) If an agreement that results from mediation and is incorporated into a court order is referred to as a "parenting agreement" or called by some similar name, it shall nevertheless be deemed to be a custody order or child custody determination for purposes of Chapter 50A of the General Statutes, G.S. 14-320.1, G.S. 110-139.1, or other places where those terms appear. (i) If the child whose custody is the subject of an action under this Chapter also is the subject of a juvenile abuse, neglect, or dependency proceeding pursuant to Subchapter 1 of Chapter 7B of the General Statutes, then the custody action under this Chapter is stayed as provided in G.S. 7B-200. (1967, c. 1153, s. 2; 1989, c. 795, s. 15(b); 1998-202, s. 13(p); 2004-128, s. 10; 2005-320, s. 5; 2005-423, s. 4; 2007-462, s. 1; 2011-411, s 4; 2013-236, s. 13; 2015-181, s. 35.) * 50-13.2. Who entitled to custody; terms of custody; * 50-13.2. Who entitled to custody; terms of custody; visitation rights of grandparents; taking child out of State; consideration of parent's military service. (a) An order for custody of a minor child entered pursuant to this section shall award the custody of such child to such person, agency, organization or institution as will best promote the interest and welfare of the child. In making the determination, the court shall consider all relevant factors including acts of domestic violence between the parties, the safety of the child, and the safety of either party from domestic violence by the other party. An order for custody must include written findings of fact that reflect the consideration of each of these factors and that support the determination of what is in the best interest of the child. Between the parents, whether natural or adoptive, no presumption shall apply as to who will better promote the interest and welfare of the child. Joint custody to the parents shall be considered upon the request of either parent. (b) An order for custody of a minor child may grant joint custody to the parents, exclusive custody to one person, agency, organization, or institution, or grant custody to two or more persons, agencies, organizations, or institutions. Any order for custody shall include such terms, including visitation, as will best promote the interest and welfare of the child. If the court finds that domestic violence has occurred, the court shall enter such orders that best protect the children and party who were the victims of domestic violence, in accordance with the provisions of G.S. 50B-3(a1)(1), (2), and (3). If a party is absent or relocates with or without the children because of an act of domestic violence, the absence or relocation shall not be a factor that weighs against the party in determining custody or visitation. Absent an order of the court to the contrary, each parent shall have equal access to the records of the minor child involving the health, education, and welfare of the child. (b1) An order for custody of a minor child may provide visitation rights for any grandparent of the child as the court, in its discretion, deems appropriate. As used in this subsection, "grandparent" includes a biological grandparent of a child adopted by a stepparent or a relative of the child where a substantial relationship exists between the grandparent and the child. Under no circumstances shall a biological grandparent of a child adopted by adoptive parents, neither of whom is related to the child and where parental rights of both biological parents have been terminated, be entitled to visitation rights. * 50-13.2. Who entitled to custody; terms of custody; (b2) Any order for custody, including visitation, may, as a condition of such custody or visitation, require either or both parents, or any other person seeking custody or visitation, to abstain from consuming alcohol and may require submission to a continuous alcohol monitoring system, of a type approved by the Division of Adult Correction and Juvenile Justice of the Department of Public Safety, to verify compliance with this condition of custody or visitation. Any order pursuant to this subsection shall include an order to the monitoring provider to report any violation of the order to the court and each party to the action. Failure to comply with this condition shall be grounds for civil or criminal contempt. (c) An order for custody of a minor child may provide for such child to be taken outside of the State, but if the order contemplates the return of the child to this State, the judge may require the person, agency, organization or institution having custody out of this State to give bond or other security conditioned upon the return of the child to this State in accordance with the order of the court. (d) If, within a reasonable time, one parent fails to consent to adoption pursuant to Chapter 48 of the General Statutes or parental rights have not been terminated, the consent of the other consenting parent shall not be effective in an action for custody of the child. * 50-13.2. Who entitled to custody; terms of custody; (e) An order for custody of a minor child may provide for visitation rights by electronic communication. In granting visitation by electronic communication, the court shall consider the following: (1) Whether electronic communication is in the best interest of the minor child. (2) Whether equipment to communicate by electronic means is available, accessible, and affordable to the parents of the minor child. (3) Any other factor the court deems appropriate in determining whether to grant visitation by electronic communication. The court may set guidelines for electronic communication, including the hours in which the communication may be made, the allocation of costs between the parents in implementing electronic communication with the child, and the furnishing of access information between parents necessary to facilitate electronic communication. Electronic communication with a minor child may be used to supplement visitation with the child. Electronic communication may not be used as a replacement or substitution for custody or visitation. The amount of time electronic communication is used shall not be a factor in calculating child support or be used to justify or support relocation by the custodial parent out of the immediate area or the State. Electronic communication between the minor child and the parent may be subject to supervision as ordered by the court. As used in this subsection, "electronic communication" means contact, other than face-to-face contact, facilitated by electronic means, such as by telephone, electronic mail, instant messaging, video teleconferencing, wired or wireless technologies by Internet, or other medium of communication. (f) In a proceeding for custody of a minor child of a service member, a court may not consider a parent's past deployment or possible future deployment as the only basis in determining the best interest of the child. The court may consider any significant impact on the best interest of the child regarding the parent's past or possible future deployment. (1957, c. 545; 1967, c. 1153, s. 2; 1977, c. 501, s. 2; 1979, c. 967; 1981, c. 735, ss. 1, 2; 1985, c. 575, s. 3; 1987, c. 541, s. 2; c. 776; 1995 (Reg. Sess., 1996), c. 591, s. 5; 2004-186, s. 17.1; 2009-314, s. 1; 2012-146, s. 10; 2013-27, s. 1; 2015-278, s. 2; 2017-186, s. 2(pppp).)