North Carolina Courts all have the same goal in mind when it comes making a child support determination: that the payments for child support shall be awarded in such amount as to meet the reasonable needs of the child for health, education, and maintenance, having due regard to the estates, earnings, conditions, accustomed standard of living of the child and the parties, the childcare and homemaker contributions of the parties and the facts of a particular case. This is addressed in North Carolina General Statute 15-13.4(c).
As a result, the courts have created something known as presumptive guidelines which take into account these factors and provide for a standard payment scheme depending on all sources of income and earning abilities of the parties. The courts may deviate from these standard numbers and from this scheme in general at the request of either party, but that is going to require a showing that the applications of these guidelines will not meet the reasonable needs of the child.
The court can award child support to be paid in lump sum payments or even require that some property be given in exchange for what is owed, but the most standard form of support is the monthly payments paid to the spouse that petitioned for it if the judge determines that support is necessary.
An award for child support can be very fact specific and you should reach out to an attorney to help you understand what, if any, liability you may have for child support.