Child Support


#1

Here is the info from our county’s website so I would suggest you type in “child support” and your county and see what comes up:
Review and Modification
What is modification?

Modification occurs when the terms of the child support and/or medical support order are changed. A significant change in the parent’s circumstances is required for the order to be modified. Either parent, a guardian, or the child support enforcement agency can ask for a review of a child support order to see if the amount of the order should be changed or if health insurance needs to be added. A review will be made if it has been at least three years from the date of your latest court order or three years from the date it was last reviewed. A review can only take place frequently if there is a major change in the obligor’s income or some other significant change. You should contact your local child support agency if:

You lose your job
You have a substantial increase or decrease in income
Custody of your child changes
However, once the review process is started, it can’t be stopped. Your order could increase, decrease, or stay the same. Be sure that you have a legitimate reason for requesting a modification. To be eligible for modification, the new order must differ at least 15 percent from the current order. If the current order is less than $100 per month, the order can be modified if the difference between the new order and the current order is at least $15.00 per month.

Judges look at the circumstances of the job loss before making any change. The earning potential of unemployed non-custodial parents is used to determine the amount of the order. Unemployment benefits can also be intercepted to pay child support.

Information Required

To determine whether a modification of the child support order is needed, the judge will need to know the name and address of the current or most recent employer of the non-custodial parent and his or her gross/net income.

Timeframes

Automatic reviews take place 36 months from establishment or 36 months from the time of the most recent review. Either party may also request a modification review under the circumstances discussed above.


#2

I got this info from your “FAQ’s”. If I am reading this correctly, basically, the moving party has to simply show what a reasonable amount should be at the time of the hearing, and what the difference is in the amount already receiving vs. the new “reasonable” amount. Am I reading that correctly?

“If child support is embodied in a separation agreement, the standard for “modification” requires only that the moving party must show the amount of support necessary to meet the reasonable needs of the child at the time of the hearing. The amount which the parties have agreed on is presumed to be reasonable, but it only constitutes some evidence of the appropriate level of support. In other words, the trial court can disregard a prior settlement over the amount of child support, even if the parties deemed the amount to be fair. The previously agreed upon level of support is but one factor to be considered at a hearing.”


#3

Thank you Mal, however, am I reading your response that this is how it would be done in a court order, or separation agreement? I have a sep agreement that states the amount to pay.


#4

I’m not a Rosen lawyer…I don’t think it will cost you much if anything to speak to a Child Support officer and see about making a change based on your points, i.e. decrease in child care amounts and the possible increase in her salary. What they will do is get earnings info on both of you and plug it into a formula. If you object to the amount then you can go to court over it but that’s where it gets very expensive and you have to ask yourself if it is worth it if the difference in what you are paying and what you think you should be paying.
Have you run the child support calculator on this site?


#5

I would just call the child support offices and see what they have to say about this. Your separation agreement is a one-time deal but it can be amended if you two are able to agree on something and have it notarized. It is interesting your separation agreement states an amount for child support since I would think that could potentially change based on income and other factors…children aging out, child care expenses, etc.


#6

Get this craziness…my ex lost his engineering job in 2001 and petitioned to reduce his child support. He then got a carpentry job paying $10/hr but I had to prove he was maliciously trying to avoid paying increased child support. I figured it was based on earning potential also…but 4 years later he is still paying the same reduced amount.

I can read what the law says, but for me (at least) it just hasn’t worked that way.[?]


#7

I have a separation agreement that states I will pay $1100 per month, plus 15% of my year end bonus. I believe my ex now makes more money, and the amount of work related childcare costs is going down due to the age of my children. How could I modify this agreement? I understand the “change in circumstances” concept, and believe that at least the decrease in childcare costs is a “change in circumstances” but what steps do I need to follow in order to begin the process? Is it possible to get that amount changed just because one party feels it is no longer a “fair” amount?


#8

Bump


#9

Dear calculator:

Greetings. First, you may not be able to modify your agreement. Does the agreement allow for termination of child support when the court sets a new amount?

If it does allow for it, simply call the child support enforcement agency. By the way, you kept bumping your post backwards, not forwards. Thanks

Janet L. Fritts
Attorney with Rosen Law Firm

4101 Lake Boone Trail, Suite 500
Raleigh, North Carolina 27607
919.787.6668 main phone
919.256.1665 direct fax

301 McCullough Drive Suite 510
Charlotte, North Carolina 28262
704.644.2831 main voice
704.307.4595 main fax

1829 East Franklin Street, Bldg 600
Chapel Hill, NC 27514
919.321.0780 main phone
919.787.6668 main fax

ROSEN.COM

The response posted above is based upon the limited factual information made available and is not intended as a full and complete response to the question. The only reliable manner to obtain complete and adequate legal advice is to consult with an attorney, fully explain your situation, and allow the attorney sufficient opportunity to research the applicable law and facts required to render an accurate opinion. The basic information provided above is intended as a public service but a full discussion with an attorney should be undertaken before taking any action.


#10

I have a separation agreement that states I will pay $1100 per month, plus 15% of my year end bonus. I believe my ex now makes more money, and the amount of work related childcare costs is going down due to the age of my children. How could I modify this agreement? I understand the “change in circumstances” concept, and believe that at least the decrease in childcare costs is a “change in circumstances” but what steps do I need to follow in order to begin the process? Is it possible to get that amount changed just because one party feels it is no longer a “fair” amount?