Can Ex-Husband Randomly Chg Amt of Child Support?

Go to the child support calculator on this website and calculate how much he should be paying for you. I suspect it is much more than $150/month. Contact your child support offices in your county. Show them the signed document and they will tell you how to proceed. He will probably end up paying you back.

Child support can be re-evaluated every three years but that is through the courts or Child Support Enforcement/DSS. If he signed an agreement then he would have to modify that agreement before he could decrease the amount. Believe me. When my husband’s child support started the papers said starting Oct. he was to pay $X to the state, but his ex didn’t sign until the end of Nov. so he continued to pay her the amount from their original separation agreement, which is what his attorney told him to do. They didn’t change the date, so when the final agreement was signed it still said Oct. His ex then told DSS that he didn’t pay child support for Oct. Luckily he had canceled checks that he had written out to her. The only amount he couldn’t account for was cash he had paid the sitter for afterschool care. She tried to argue that the checks didn’t say they were for child support but the judge only laughed and said that he didn’t think he would be paying her a weekly amount for no reason. He ended up having to send the state $47 which was what he had paid the sitter in cash. The courts went by the original agreement even though child support is now through DSS.

Your original agreement will hold up in court and likely he will have to back pay you the amount he reduced. Use the calculator and contact your local DSS office. I’m quite sure that $150 a month for three children is a little less than what he should be paying.

Thank you for your quick replies! I did use Rosen’s child support calculator, and based on the income tax figures used when the agreement was created, the $600 was accurate. I have contacted the NC Child Support Enforcement Agency, but they have stated they can only control the amount of child support from this point forward (we will go to court in March to determine the current accurate amount), not the back child support he has voluntarily reduced. Unfortunately the NCCSE agency is extremely busy, and they do not return calls, so many of my questions go unanswered.

With his pilot’s salary being hourly, his monthly income can flucuate greatly, to where I would imagine he would have to pay more than the $600. He tells me he is only working 70 hours a month (the minimum a pilot has to work) but is constantly telling his children the reason he doesn’t see them is because he is working. (He can work a maximum of 100 hours a month.) Will I be able to request child support be calculated monthly?

Fluctuating salaries are commonplace in many jobs (construction, sales, etc). They will use W-2’s, check stubs or get verification from HR of your husband’s work.

Dear Canderbe:

Greetings. No he cannot voluntarily decrease his child support. If I were you, I would do the following IMMEDIATELY (do not “sit” on your rights):

  1. Contact the child support enforcement agency and determine how much he would owe today if the court made him pay.

  2. Immediately file a complaint for breach of contract to get back the funds he owes you for child support that he failed to pay.

Good luck.

Janet L. Fritts
Attorney with Rosen Law Firm

4101 Lake Boone Trail, Suite 500
Raleigh, North Carolina 27607
919.787.6668 main phone
919.256.1665 direct fax

301 McCullough Drive Suite 510
Charlotte, North Carolina 28262
704.644.2831 main voice
704.307.4595 main fax

1829 East Franklin Street, Bldg 600
Chapel Hill, NC 27514
919.321.0780 main phone
919.787.6668 main fax


The response posted above is based upon the limited factual information made available and is not intended as a full and complete response to the question. The only reliable manner to obtain complete and adequate legal advice is to consult with an attorney, fully explain your situation, and allow the attorney sufficient opportunity to research the applicable law and facts required to render an accurate opinion. The basic information provided above is intended as a public service but a full discussion with an attorney should be undertaken before taking any action.

When my separation agreement was written and signed by my ex-husband three years ago, he was responsible to pay $600 (total) a month in child support for our three children. The amount was calculated based on the previous year’s income tax records. Six months ago he decided he has been overpaying me due to the fact he is paid hourly as a pilot, and now only sends me $150 (total) for child support, and that I actually owe him for the overpayments he has made. In addition to only sending $150 a month he only sees his children once a year for a day or two. Can he reduce the amount of child support without my agreement and without it being done legally? Can child support be calculated on a monthly basis?