Back child support

My son’s father and I were never married, he was born in Alabama in 1998. In 2006, my son and I moved to North Carolina and have resided here ever since. There has never been any court proceeding involving custody or support, his father and I worked it out between us and he has paid $300/mo (more or less) since my son was born. We have not had any real issues, until now.

My son has been visiting his father in AL since 6/19/10. I found out today, accidently, that his father filed for temporary custody on 6/29/10 in AL, citing abandonment by me. He gave a non-existent address for me (as in, it truly doesn’t even exist) and used my maiden name, and I have phone records proving contact in the weeks leading up to (and since) that date. I have retained an attorney in AL and will seek a show cause hearing next week. Once I have my son back, I will return to NC and seek custody proceedings here.

I am really not worried about getting custody of my son…at almost 11, he has lived with me his entire life and I work for the federal government with a Top Secret clearance…in other words, there are no lifestyle issues either. At this point, the gloves are off, however. I have had to cash out my retirement and take a 24% tax penalty off the top in order to hire an attorney. Looking at the child support calculator, he should be paying roughly $600/mo in support. Does NC allow for back child support previous to the support order? I know Alabama will allow for it up to 24 months prior to the order, but I couldn’t find anything on NC. I worked two and three jobs to provide for my son in trying to keep things amicable with his father, and this is what I get.

NC allows for the Plaintiff to seek retroactive child support for the time period prior to an Order for support. Retroactive support is based on the reasonable and necessary expenditures made on behalf of the parent seeking support and the defendant’s ability to pay during the period for which reimbursement is sought.
In other words, you will need to document the money spent on your child during the time voluntary support was paid and may be reimbursed for a portion of the expenses that were not covered by the support you received after accounting for your share of the expenses.

A follow-up question for you as this saga continues…

Once I returned to North Carolina with my son after the debacle last summer, I immediately filed for custody here. That was September 2010. He has not paid the voluntary child support since May 2010. I have filed for CS through CSE and he has failed to respond to any of their correspondence so it is taking forever. He has not attempted any direct contact since December 2010. He does have an attorney here but I honestly do not believe she has spoken to him in some time. I can never get a custody hearing set, and here it is a year later. I have emailed him about our son and gotten no reply.

Do I have grounds to file for termination of parental rights and what are the chances of success? I have my son in counseling to help him work through his anger at his father, and he’s just done with him. I don’t care about the money, I just see the anger in my son (he is 13) that has never been there before, and he feels used by his father. They never had a close relationship to begin with. If I thought there was any chance their relationship could be salvaged I wouldn’t do it, but as time has gone on I don’t see it happening. Thank you for your time.

There would have needed to be an action filed for “Termination of Parental Rights” and a judge will have to approve this. It’s best to also use an attorney to do this. In order to move for a termination of rights he must also not be contributing to the child’s financial support, so you already have that requirement met. The court would only do grant the termination if it found facts supporting that a termination of his parental rights would be in the best interests of the child. I cannot say whether the motion would be granted, but his refusal to provide support or be a part of the child’s life are factors listed in the statue as grounds for termination. We do not handle parental rights termination cases but you may contact our client liaison by phone for a referral.