Change in Job and Child Custody

Dear carolinagirl:

Greetings. If your spouse voluntarily decreases his income then he can request a reduction in child support, but you can request that the court “impute” his income at his old level because he is voluntarily depressing his income. The only problem is that you will have to prove “bad faith” on his part - which if you just had to enforce an agreement against him, bad faith may not be so hard to prove.

Yes, you can have your attorney draw up this document, but in the event of your death (knock on wood), the biological father has superior rights to the child, regardless of your written document. Now, in the event of your death, your parents could possibly institute a custody action in order to get your daughter to live with them.

Finally, even if he is your ex, I sure hope he weathers “Frances the Hurricane” in Florida well. Best of luck.

Janet L. Fritts
Attorney with Rosen Divorce
4101 Lake Boone Trail, Suite 500
Raleigh, North Carolina 27607

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.

Hi -
I have two questions. My ex and I just finished a long court battle where the courts have required my ex to follow the terms of our agreement. His current job requires that he travel quite a bit. He says he is tired of traveling and wants to take a job where he can stay home. This job will require him to take a decrease in his salary. If that happens, can he take me back to court and have his montly payments lowered? He is not leaving for any reason other than he doesn’t like to travel. He is living with his girlfriend. She has no children and I have sole custody of our daughter.

My second question is, if he does keep the job that requires him to travel and he is away from his home much of the year, can I have my lawyer draw up a legal document requesting that my daughter live with my parents in the event of my death. We live in NC and he lives in Florida. She has only met his girlfriend two or three times and since he would not be home, she would essentially be living with a stranger in a strange place. She spends alot of time with her grandparents here and her wish is to stay with them. She is 10 years old.

Thanks for your assistance!