Child support when ex wife refuses to work 40 hours per week


In negotiating child support, my ex wife says she cannot work more than 32 hours per week although there is nothing physically preventing her from doing so. After our first child was born (17 years ago), we agreed she could work part time to be with the kids more. Currently she works 32 hours per week and makes $6.00 per hour more than I do. She claims she can’t work more because a 40 hour position isn’t available at her work place. She says she will not get a second job to make up the difference in hours and expects me to base child support on my 40 hours per week and her 32 hours per week. In her profession as a physical therapist, it is very easy to pick up a few extra hours per week doing home health or something like that and it usually pays an even higher amount than she makes in her current job. During divorce mediation, she agreed to basing income on each of us working 40 hours per week but the papers were not signed. This was 4 months ago. She has had plenty of time to look for something else to increase income but she hasn’t and is now refusing to do such. Am I still obligated by NC law to base child support on the 32 hours she works and the 40 I work? Thank you


Yes, you would need to calculate child support based on each parent’s actual wages unless you can prove that your ex-wife is underemployed in bad faith (i.e. deliberate suppression of income).

Anna Ayscue

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

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