Child Support Hearing


We did my retroactive child support hearing at the end everything went really fast and I don’t remember what was said. His lawyer is now sending the child support order and I need some clarity before signing it. I asked her what the judge said about an amount calculated and she said it was the judges calculation and she did not know. Is there some way to find this out? I think it is wrong. She gave him $1,000 credit for a year he didn’t pay me anything.

Also, she did not take into consideration rent, utilities or food. Just took actual expenses. I know I didn’t say anything about it because I assumed that was a given. Is there anything that can be done?


The figures used in calculating the retroactive support should have been discussed at the hearing. A judge won’t arbitrarily assign an amount without any explanation. Read the order closely and see if there are specific findings of fact that reference the figures used in calculating the retroactive support owed.

His lawyer is the one typing up the finding of facts and she told me she didn’t know. I did figure it out though. In 2010 I was paying all the expenses and he said he didn’t save receipts because it was so far back. The Judge assumed he was paying child support and applied what he was paying in later years to 2010 for afterschool care, and he did NOT pay that because he was out of work and he was watching the kids.

I never addressed Rent, Utilities and Food so she did not include that. She only took the expenses I provided and a few of his. Took our income (which was calculated incorrectly) and did a % split for 2010 & 2011.

She also did not consider 2012 (I filed 12/18/2012 so previous back support is 1/1/2013 - current).

If she doesn’t consider rent, food and utilities I will end up owing him money. And I don’t understand why she didn’t add that because that is a given.

What should I do? File a motion to have it heard again? Can she just ignore the rent/food/utilities? I don’t want to make her mad but $300.00 for 3 years of child support is bull. We are scheduled to go back in November to finalize child support because I am out of work.

If the court has already ordered that an amount owed for retroactive child support, you can appeal the ruling. The standard of review for child support orders is called “abuse of discretion.” This means that the trial court’s ruling will only be overturned if you prove that it was so arbitrary that it could not have been the result of a reasoned decision - you would need to argue that actual expenses were not considered. There is no such thing as a motion to have it heard again.

Thank you for clarifying that I need to file an appeal

She ONLY considered the expenses that were presented to her which were medical, school and activities. Like I said, I did not present the rent, utilities and food. Can she not consider the rent, utilities and food because I did not present it? She had our incomes and did not calculate it in the worksheet. Can she do that?


Since you were seeking retroactive support, you had the burden to provide adequate evidence of past expenditures made on behalf of the
child. If you fail to do so, the court doesn’t have to consider those expenditures in it’s calculation. If you didn’t provide evidence of expenses for rent/food/utilities, the judge has no obligation to consider those expenses. Also, keep in mind that your failure to provide this evidence isn’t grounds for an appeal. Remember that you have to show that the ruling was so arbitrary that it could not have been the result of a reasoned decision in order to successfully appeal.

In determining the amount owed, the judge will consider the parties’ relative abilities to pay - income isn’t part of the calculation per se. The calculation is based on the actual expenses, but income can be used to determine the ability of the party to pay. Income is part of the calculation used to determine prospective child support, but not retroactive.

I think I can appeal on the fact that she did not consider 2012 which was one of the years. So let’s say I get the appeal for that. Can I introduce the Rent/Utilities/Food at that point? Or is that off the table and we are only talking about the evidence already presented?


You cannot introduce new evidence on appeal. If you presented evidence that wasn’t considered by the trial court judge, that can be raised in appeal, but no new evidence.

Thank you!

How do MISS TRIALs happen?

NC Gen Stat § 15A Article 62 explains the grounds for mistrial. A mistrial is something a judge declares during the trial if there has been some mistake during the trial or misconduct that would result in an unfair trial. A new trial is ordered if the judge declares a mistrial. This is not applicable to your child support issue.