Child Support sudden change


My ex-husband and I have a mediated property settlement agreement and had an absolute divorce. It outlined a specific amount of child support each month, and recalculation after three years. At the three year point, my ex-husband lowered the amount of child support that he sends to me by EFT by $600 less per month. We did not agree on the amount being lowered and he did not bother filing a court motion to have it lowered. He said he recalculated it himself although he knows we do not agree since he did not add in the childcare expense. What happens when one party changes the child support amount which was in a contract between us, but not in a court order? Does the court frown on this type of recalculation without litigation and without parties agreeing?


It’s ok and acceptable to recalculate child support outside of court, but the new amount would need to be agreed on by both parties unless the separation agreement states otherwise. And it is best to have that change written out and both parties sign it in front of notaries so that it counts as an amendment to the separation agreement.

Ask your ex-husband to provide you his income documentation and the child support worksheet he used to come up with this new amount. If, after checking his work, you still disagree with the amount (and assuming you have not signed a new amendment with the new terms), you can file a breach of contract lawsuit against him alleging that he has violated the separation agreement by unilaterally changing the child support payments (unless of course your separation agreement gives him this authority).

Anna Ayscue

Attorney with Rosen Law Firm Cary • Chapel Hill • Durham • Raleigh • Wake Forest

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