Child Custody and Support Payments

My ex-husband and I did our own paperwork for divorce and custody about 7 or 8 years ago. At the time we were both willing to have a 50/50 custody arrangement for our daughter with an every other week living arrangement. Neither of us paid the either any support due to the 50/50 agreement. Things have changed drastically over the years. He remarried a woman that does not have any children, and she wasn’t too excited about the custody arrangement. Immediately after their marriage our daughter started exhibiting extreme emotional problems and her previous learning difficulties started to increase. (Our daughter has high functioning autism/asberger’s sydrome.) My ex gladly agreed to hand over full custody to me, and every other weekend visitation for himself. He would only agree to pay $300.00 per month in support. We never had this documented in court. Over the past two years other problems have begun to develop, his new wife has become even more antagonistic towards my daughter, he has started making multiple excuses to back out of weekend visits because it’s causing stress in his marriage, he has not helped with any of our daughters additional expenses for camps during the summer and track-out periods. I have moved to Raleigh and he and his wife have bought a new residence in Statesville. I lost my job this past December due to the economy, and with my full time parenting requirements and age have found it extremely hard to compete in today’s employment market. Luckily, I have a military retirement of $34k annually, so I’m able to pay for the bare necessities. There’s been a host of other problems, such as the fact that I had to pay for the majority of our daughter’s orthodontics, the list goes on and on… I looked at the new app for Child Support and with the possibly 20 overnights she has with my ex a year, and my current wage status, his wage status of over $50k a year, his living expenses are paid by his new wife who makes over $130k a year, they own two houses worth over $1M. The app basically stated that he should be paying approximately $800 a month in support. Should I go back into court for increased support, is there a way I can do this economically? I really can’t afford the consistently quoted price of $10k for expenses. Everytime I’ve considered this in the past 3 years, it seemed that the expenses for legal assistance exceeded the cost of any increase in support payment. My daughter just turned 13, so I’m figuring that he will stop paying support when she graduates high school, another 6 years. Please let me know if I have any options that won’t put me into further financial difficulty.

You are entitled to support, and DSS will help you get it.