Child Support Change


#1

Greetings,

My ex and I have a notarized out of court separation agreement which outlines the child support I pay her based on my pay, her not working(or trying to get a job), our 3 children and the child she had before we got married. I am about to get remarried, my new spouse has 2 children, and the next job I get may have me making less than I am making now. From what I understand if I make more or less the child support I am paying her has to change. If she refuses to co-operate and sign a new agreement with the child support adjustment based on my lesser pay, and additional dependents (other children) do I have the right to create a new separation agreement anyway?


#2

Your new stepchildren will not count as dependents under North Carolina child support guidelines (neither would your prior stepchild). The only children it will consider are prior biological and adopted children. If you have new children with the new spouse, that fact will not reduce your child support obligation under the guidelines. You cannot create a new agreement for child support without your ex’s approval. No court will force her to sign a new agreement.

If you cannot agree between you on the amount you should pay, then you should file a motion to modify support based on the new income figures. Unfortunately, unless your agreement says you can modify otherwise, it has to be 3 years since the last calculation, and the new figure of support is 15% higher or lower than before. If you signed an agreement to pay for your stepchild, and based off of your ex not having a job, you likely took on more responsibility than you were obligated to under the guidelines. You can use our child support calculator online to estimate what your current support (for biological and adopted children only) would be now, and get an idea of what it could be in the future.


#3

Interesting. Good to know this. The agreement we have only mentions the children from the marriage, but apparently I am paying her too much. I made the calculation with that in mind. I need to look over the agreement again. At the same time, she never has money for doctor co-pays, their clothing, and other things she is suppose to pay for out of the money she is sent.

Thanks for the info.


#4

You’re welcome! I hope everything works out for you.


#5

What goes in the blankmarked: “Number of Other Children”?


#6

That is where you list the number of prior children (adopted or biological) that you (or your ex) has.


#7

Hi,

Could you please clarify this a little? I’ve found this from the NC Courts site:

http://www.nccourts.org/Forms/Documents/1226.pdf

It came out earlier this year and has the following:

Modification
In a proceeding to modify the amount of child support payable under a child support order that was entered at
least three years before the pending motion to modify was filed, a difference of 15% or more between the amount of child
support payable under the existing order and the amount of child support resulting from application of the guidelines
based on the parents’ current incomes and circumstances shall be presumed to constitute a substantial change of
circumstances warranting modification of the existing child support order.

Which as I read it as a laymen, indicates to me that it has to have been 3 years and a change of at least 15% and I think that is what you’ve indicated below. But this information indicates that a person can file a motion to modify pretty much when ever they want and the 3 year time line is not a factor:

§ 50-13.7. Modification of order for child support or custody
(a) An order of a court of this State for support of a minor child may be modified or vacated at any time, upon motion in the cause and a showing of changed circumstances by either party or anyone interested subject to the limitations of G.S. 50-13.10. Subject to the provisions of G.S. 50A-201, 50A-202, and 50A-204, an order of a court of this State for custody of a minor child may be modified or vacated at any time, upon motion in the cause and a showing of changed circumstances by either party or anyone interested.
(b) When an order for support of a minor child has been entered by a court of another state, a court of this State may, upon gaining jurisdiction, and upon a showing of changed circumstances, enter a new order for support which modifies or supersedes such order for support, subject to the limitations of G.S. 50-13.10. Subject to the provisions of G.S. 50A-201, 50A-202, and 50A-204, when an order for custody of a minor child has been entered by a court of another state, a court of this State may, upon gaining jurisdiction, and a showing of changed circumstances, enter a new order for custody which modifies or supersedes such order for custody.

Which circumstance is correct? Because I also have an existing court order that indicates I’m to be paid child support and it was filed in April of this year and is based on an attached worksheet b form that indicates the amount owed to me. Can the other party change it now, just 9 months later or do they have to wait 3 years? Please clarify. Thanks

Sid

[quote=“crystalruss”]Your new stepchildren will not count as dependents under North Carolina child support guidelines (neither would your prior stepchild). The only children it will consider are prior biological and adopted children. If you have new children with the new spouse, that fact will not reduce your child support obligation under the guidelines. You cannot create a new agreement for child support without your ex’s approval. No court will force her to sign a new agreement.

If you cannot agree between you on the amount you should pay, then you should file a motion to modify support based on the new income figures. Unfortunately, unless your agreement says you can modify otherwise, it has to be 3 years since the last calculation, and the new figure of support is 15% higher or lower than before. If you signed an agreement to pay for your stepchild, and based off of your ex not having a job, you likely took on more responsibility than you were obligated to under the guidelines. You can use our child support calculator online to estimate what your current support (for biological and adopted children only) would be now, and get an idea of what it could be in the future.[/quote]


#8

I understand the confusion, because it is confusing. The 15%/3-year rule gives rise to a presumption that a substantial change of circumstances has occurred which will give rise to a modification. However, you do not have to have both of those things to file for a modification. If you file without one or both of those criteria, you will simply not have the benefit of that presumption when you present your case. You can still have a successful modification without those criteria, but it is harder. I would say it is unlikely your ex will be successful in a modification right now, but it’s not impossble. Your ex will have a better chance after they can meet the 15%/3-year rule.