Child Support Enforcement

Dear Gypsy:

Greetings. When posts are extremely long, it will usually take us longer to answer. First, fault (such as cheating) does not matter for child support. Second, I agree with you. The “damn bugger” is just trying to screw you out of the child support you are due. You did not mention getting alimony, why is that?

My advice, take this before the same judge and let them know what is going on. Ask the judge to place a lien on his house for the back child support, to garnish his wages, whatever it takes, etc. Best of luck and please keep us informed!

Janet L. Fritts
Attorney at Law
4101 Lake Boone Trail, Suite 200
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.

I really need advice on a few issues regarding enforcement of m child support. Basic background: Divorced single mother of two children ages 12 and 16. Husband had an affair with a friend of ours and abandoned us by moving out of state. We have a child support order. He was making over 600,000.00 a year (salary, commissions, bonus’s, stock options, etc). In Feb of 2003 he stopped visitation with the children. He also he filed a request for a reduction in child support the same month. His attorney delayed the court hearing no less than 7 times. He paid his CS each month, however he did not pay for some of the “extra” things (camps, birthdays, Vacation) regularly until Sept of 2003. At that point all support stopped. The case was heard Nov 2003.
When we went to court he pleaded “poverty” saying his income had reduced to 185,000.00 and that his “financial hardship” (as he refers to the children now) was too high (6000.00), he also perjured himself on the stand… The judge’s ruled he was denied a reduction on the following reasons: His income (from records from his employer) was over 300,000.00 and the CS agreement stated that his income may be considerably more than 350,000.00 or considerably less than 350,000.00, that in July of 2003 he purchased a new home for over 350,000.00, that his gambling “problem” was a $4000.00 + habit a month,that he is supporting a woman he is not married to, that he had the means at all times to pay his support however, he chose not to. The CS order was to remain in effect. He was ordered in contempt and the ruling was delayed 1 week. We went back to court and reached an agreement for a “settled” amount plus attorney fees. Again he was told that the CS order would remain in effect.
When January rolled around my support check came … 1800.00 instead of 6000.00. I immediately contacted my attorney. My son became quite ill and when I took him to the Dr and went to get his meds, I was informed that the children’s health insurance was cancelled. Then I was informed that he left his job (by mutual agreement with the company) but was offered another position making around 175,000.00. He recently took a position with another company making 120,000.00. Back in the 80’s and early 90’s, we looked into this company and made the decision that we could not afford to take the position that at that time paid around 120,000.00 … this was when he was making 175,000.00 a year.
I know what he is doing. He has dummied down his income so that he can go back to court and get a reduction. Once he does that he will assume another position with his old company for the much higher pay and benefits. I have recently went back to college in order to get a degree so that we are not dependent on him. But in the meantime I have to have the support to raise my children and provide them with the basics in life. The children and I downsized our lives from the 15,000 a month when we were married to 5500 a month now.
My house is being foreclosed on, my car will be repossessed, my utilities will be shut off. The stress of this is destroying the children and I. My X is fully aware of the situation and refuses to do anything.
My attorney wants to renegotiate the CS agreement. I want to file contempt charges immediately and go back to court. I have faith that the judge will see through his ploy. I cannot get my attorney to move on this.
What can I do? I cannot afford to hire another attorney, I can’t pay the one I have. Should the children and I have to suffer anymore? Should we have to loose our home, car and everything we do have left just because of the choices my X is making? Please, I need advice ASAP.
Thank you