Child Support

Yes. The courts can use someone earning potential if they are voluntarily underemployed or unemployed.
Your husband can carry him on his insurance really whether or not the ex agrees. The only problem with that is that co-pays or deductibles will have to be paid instead of getting free service. The reason this will be a problem is that Medicaid is considered a secondary insurance if private insurance has coverage. If Medicaid doesn’t know that the person is covered on private insurance then they have to get reimbursement from the insurance company for fees they paid out through the year. My suggestion for this…have your husband let the ex know in writing that as of Jan. 1st that he will be carrying his son on his insurance. He will need to get a copy of the insurance card to Medicaid and physician offices and pharmacies…

Your question presents several issues:

Child support can be modified if there is a substantial change in circumstances, which can be; a 15% increase or decrease in income, a change in the custodial situation, the birth of another child, one party stops incurring or begins to incur day care expenses, or three years has past.

Generally, the fact that she receives public assistance is not a reason that the court would reduce child support.

If she is capable of earning more (and has actually earned more in the past) the court may impute income to her base don what she is capable of earning. If she is presently earning an income similar to what she has always earned, it is unlikely the court would impute income to her.

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

Charlotte Office
301 McCullough Drive
Suite 510
Charlotte, NC 28262
Main Phone: (704)307.4600
Main Fax: (704) 9343.0044

Durham & Chapel Hill Office
1829 East Franklin Street
Building 600
Chapel Hill, NC 27514
(919) 321.0780


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 only, a full discussion with an attorney should be undertaken before taking any action. The information posted on this forum is available for public viewing and is not intended to create an attorney client relationship with any individual. These answers are provided for informational purposes only, a person should consult with their own individual legal counsel before taking any action that could affect their legal rights or obligations.

My husband pays $400 a month for his 3 year old. My stepsons mother asked for it to be raised $100 about 2 years ago, because my husband had no insurance on him. We have offered several times since then to add him on my husband’s insurance as it has wonderful coverage. Since the last increase in child support, we have found out that my stepson is covered only by Medicaid(which is free), she was receiving day care assistance, etc. She has not worked a full time job in over a year, and mainly stays unemployed. Can these issues be a cause to lower child support?

My husband and I do have a child together. I put all of our information in the child support calculators on this site and got very pleasing results.

I’ve also heard of using someone’s capacity to earn as opposed to their actual earnings. My husband’s ex has a college degree in Business and Accounting, but has never used it. She stays at low paying jobs so she can keep receiving financial assistance.


Katharine Simpkins