Child support reduction

addendum - ex husband is to pay 100% of uninsured medical costs which by court order started in July '07. Each month I will send him the bills, which I pay upfront. He never sends the money. Finally in Deember he sent the money (only totaling 500 for 6 months - so not that much) after my lawyer had to send his letters threatening to take him to court. Now here we go again, a bill I sent to him last month has not been paid by him. These bils I have to pay upfront, so it would not work to send him the bills right from the doctor/dentist/drug store etc

I am incurring lawyer costs just to get him to abide by the court order. He makes over the guidelines so he has the money, he is just being rude (in my mind)

Question - at the hearing we have in the spring that he brought on to reduce child support, can my lawyer bring this behavior of his up and ask for these costs to be paid with the monthly child support. He pays via the NC child support and although he is late, he does pay this each month.

If there has been a change in his income then he can request for the courts to modify child support. Would a new finacial affidavit need to be filled out for this new motion that was filed in November?

  1. Just because your household expenses have increased does not mean that he should pay more in child support if his income has decreased.

  2. Car insurance is an amount that would be included in primary child support amount, unless you could get the courts to allow it as an extraordinary expense.It can also be agreed on to split the cost but it sounds as though you would have a difficult time getting him to agree to this.

  3. His new spouse’s income does not figure into child support unless he has had a child with her. He does not have to assign any income to her.

  4. Your income is not the reason that he is requesting a reduction. He is requesting a reduction because his income has changed.

I hope that you have documentation of what you both have paid for and what he has reimbursed you for. If that is the case, then anything on his finacial affidavit that he is actually not paying for would have to be removed and put towards your side…correct?

If the court order you have now states that he is to pay 100% of all uninsured medical costs does it also state a time period that this must be reimbursed to you? If there’s a time frame such as he must reimburse you within 30 days of receiving an itimized statement then I suggest to keep strong documentation of when you are giving him these and when he is paying. I would think your attorney could bring it up but as long as he IS paying I’m not sure that there is much that can be done.
Basically, the documenting support for his request for reduction is going to be on him. If he can produce enough documentation to show that his income from August to November was changed enough and that this is a permanent change he may get the reduction. But if he has had one income for the past 5 years and has only made less for the last several months…the judge may want to look very closely at why he wants the reduction.
Good Luck

EDIT: I noticed that you mentioned his credit card statements…Why do you have access to his credit card statements? And IMHO credit cards do not show finacial status. My ex had 8 credit cards maxed when we split up…he had a lot of nice stuff but none of it was actually paid for. Bringing this up in court would make you sound a little bitter…but again, this is just my opinion.

thanks stepmother.

No, the court order does not state a time frame for the uninsured costs to be paid. I just thought waiting 6 months and him paying only after the atty sent a leter was a bit rude - but I know there is not a court or a judge or anybody that can make someone behave nicely. I just do not like being taken advantage of - and incurring the expense of the atty each time I need to enforce a court order. That costs me money and it is just not fair (to me or the kids)

Could my atty ask for this to be added to the order in the next trial - say a 30 day response and to be paid to the atty office (it seems like when we have to order that payments be sent to the atty rather than myself, they get paid on time)

No the car insurance for the kids and myself was not included on my original fiancial affadavit so I would want that to be noticed as the cost is quite high with teenage drivers in my house.

Thanks for the advice about being bitter. I have been to court 3 times now and realize that the best impression to give is not to be bitter. Just state the facts, be honest and truthful, don’t make the other side look bad and cross your fingers!

If he’s trying to have this modified then it’s possibly I suppose that you could include in the time frame of payments or reimbursements. Maybe the attorney will answer on this for sure.
I would suggest it to your attorney and see what he/she comes up with. But keep in mind that your attorney is the one that is getting paid every time you have to go to court. If there is a time frame added, there may not be a need to go to court. It sounds as though your ex waited until the Dec to pay the year…maybe you should hang on to these until the end of the year or have it put in that he reimburses you every 6 months if that would be easier. Makes the contact between you even less but you still get the same amount…

Even if the court finds he has has a substantial change in income it does not necessarily mean that child support would be decreased. It is unlikely the court would find he has had a substantial change in income, any evidence that exists today regarding his income most likely existed in November 2007 as well.

All of the factors you mentioned are reasons why the court would not decrease child support. If his income went down and he can still afford to pay the previous amount of child support, it is unlikely the court will make a modification.

Helena M. Nevicosi
Attorney with Rosen Law Firm

4101 Lake Boone Trail, Suite 500
Raleigh, North Carolina 27607
919.787.6668 main phone
919.787.6361 main fax

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Charlotte, NC 28262
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Court order August 07 deciding child support - 4 minor children - our combined salaries were over guidelines. (trial was in May)

Nov 07 - he filed a motion to reduce child support stating that his salary was now lower than the amount used in the trial (in the trial, the CS was based on the the last 5 years of income tax documents) At the time of the trial he did not know what his current salary was or would be for the year 07. He is the sole owner of a business, which in previous years has done well, but he states business has dropped substantially in the year 07 (he is claiming a 60% decrease)

  1. According to my financial affadavit, my household expenses have not changed and even have increased as I am now paying for some bills (like our daughter’s college expenses) that he had on his financial affadavit but never paid. He pays nothing for our 18 year old daugher.

  2. Expenses for the children have not changed and also have increased as now I am paying for 2 teen’s car insurance (again he had this on his fiancial aff., but stopped paying for it after the trial.

  3. he has remarried since the court order so he has a working spouse helping now with his expenses. He did tell the court at the last trial that he was cohabitating but he didn’t assign any income to the 2 people living in his new house (girlfriend and her adult child)

  4. My income has not changed since the court order.

Questions - will any of these factors help my case? I am just trying to make ends meet. I know that if we were a married couple still and if his salary decreased we would have to cut back, but I do not see how I can cut back anymore and it appears (through his credit card atatements) that he is continuing to spend freely (vacations, jewelry, etc)

aside - custody is solely with me, children have not spent any over nights, and the amount he has given the children in presents in the last year has added up to less than $100, so it is not that he can clainm he is spending on the children.