If an ex spouse is severely delinquent over $30,000.00 as a tactic to make a primary care parent get money from other sources, then how would the primary care parent get money to pay for the children’s needs each month without it counting as income? If the ex-spouse is delinquent $1500.00 per month every month, and the new spouse assists so the children have food, is that income? If it is tabulated as a loan every month from a step-parent, is that income? If I put a house which was paid off and was my separate property into jointly owned with my new husband, could that be a way to re-pay him for paying for the $1500.00 per month? Would that be considered a barter of assets to have tenants in the entirety on the house in exchange for helping with the children’s expenses each month? How would a parent care for their children when the ex- spouse will not pay child support but not have the assistance count as income?

If the other parent of a child is in arrears for child support, then you should file a contempt motion (motion for order to appear and show cause - used for child support terms in court orders) or a breach of contract action (used for child support terms in a separation agreement) against the other parent.

Income for child support purposes according to the NC Child Support Guidelines is “a parent’s actual gross income from any source, including but not limited to income from employment or self-employment (salaries, wages, commissions, bonuses, dividends, severance pay, etc.), ownership or operation of a business, partnership, or corporation, rental of property, retirement or pensions, interest, trusts, annuities, capital gains, social security benefits, workers compensation benefits, unemployment insurance benefits, disability pay and insurance benefits, gifts, prizes and alimony or maintenance received from persons other than the parties to the instant action.”

Technically any money received from third parties would be considered income, but you would have a good argument for it not to be considered income because you were having to rely on third parties to help with the children’s reasonable needs and expenses because the other parent was not paying child support.

Expenses that a new spouse pays, as part of the household expenses, would not be considered income. A new spouse’s income does not count as income for child support purposes on the child support worksheet.

Putting a separate property house in the joint names of yourself and your new spouse would not be considered repaying your new spouse - this simply would transform your separate property into marital property.

Anna Ayscue

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

Rosen Online | Unlimited confidential access to a North Carolina attorney for $199/mo - click here

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.