Child Support Enforcement


I am faced with a “Motion to Invervene, redirect, modify, child support” files in Durham County by CSE which moves the Court to allow DSS to invervene on behalf of my ex, and begin a collections process against me. I have a few weeks to decide what to do.

My first objective is to get this motion denied, and force my ex into an arbitration session where we negotiate the outstanding arrears.

We have had a longstanding genuinely amicable relationship but now she’s triggered CSE.

After EIGHT years of inaction, this action has now been taken, during which time I have provided EVERY benefit in kind possible, including constantly being available for kids and my ex and rendering substantial service in a wide range of areas from repairs to computers to chauffering. To me, this gives rise to a strong presumption that this is by no means a “timely” action on her part, and therefore that a mediation or negotiation should be the best course of action to determine an equitable solution.

My strategy is going to be to counter-claim very substantial Benefits in Kind, and therefore to renegotiate any arrears, plus to have a chance at discovery of her claims against me, and time to formulate my own list of counter-claims.

I am primarily interested in 1) stopping the agency involvement, 2) negotiating a fair and satisfactory resolution with my ex. I have ZERO income or assets, and so there is really no way to squeeze money out of me, although my near term prospects look pretty good and I plan to negotiate financial support of my boys into college with my ex, in exchange for her backing off on this less important past arrears issue.

Since I am not in any way an “absent father”, but just someone who has very limited disposable income, and am not seeking to evade my responsibilities, do you think this course of action has any hope of succeeding, and I am planning to get Legal Advice on my options as well. Thanks !!!


If you are behind on child support you cannot get the motion dismissed, nor can your force your ex into arbitration. Further your ex is not barred from pursuing support or arrearages at this time, even though 8 years have passed.

The court will likely order the two of you to attend mediation, depending on if your county has mandatory alternative dispute resolution in effect, but your spouse does not have to negotiate, and if no agreement is reached, is entitled to her day in court.