Divorce/ Child Support


#1

Dear smojo:

Greetings. Let’s see if I can help answer these:

  1. Either you or your spouse must be a resident of North Carolina for 6 months prior to filing for divorce. There are no exceptions. One does not need to live in the county, only the state for 6 months to be able to file. If you do not live in the county for 6 months, then your spouse can move the matter to another county where they reside.

  2. Remember that the divorce is COMPLETELY separate from the child custody and child support issues. (Visitation is under child custody).

  3. You must know his income to get the child support numbers. If he won’t provide it voluntarily, you may want to file for child support with the child support enforcement agency. They can obtain this information very easily, except in cases like yours where he works for himself.

  4. No, the court does not generally order someone to work full time, but the court can impute income to him (create an imaginary number for his income based on what he “could” make if employed properly). Yes, you do have a legal resource, which is filing for child support. Since your spouse’s income is so speculative - you will likely need an attorney to request a deviation from the child support guidelines.

  5. Yes. It is enforced by calling the police on him when he does not return the children. If you are worried about enforcement though, I would suggest that you consider placing the terms for child support and custody in a court order. This would make enforcement easier.

  6. Maybe. It depends on the letter and the court. I would file for child support today though…since you can usually only go back to the date of filing to determine child support.

Happy Holidays.

Janet L. Fritts
Attorney with Rosen Divorce
4101 Lake Boone Trail, Suite 500
Raleigh, North Carolina 27607
RosenDivorce.com
919-787-6668

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.


#2

Thank you for taking the time to answer all of my questions, the information is helpful.
Happy Holidays to you too!


#3

Hello,
You answered several of my questions below a couple of months ago, and helped me get on the right page with my situation. Now that I understand that the child support, custody/visitation, and divorce are separate actions, I tackled the child support first. I did go through CSE, and have that in the works now.

I will have met the 6 month residency requirement for NC in a few weeks, and will file for divorce very soon!

My question is about the custody/ visitation. How is this established? I am drafting a separation agreement myself (and hope to be able to afford to have an attorney review for me). If the agreement states that I have sole legal and physical custody, and he agrees by signing, is custody then established? You mentioned in your response to #5 below that I should consider placing the terms in a court order. Can you explain that further? Finally, does the custody need to be established before the divorce is final?

I cannot tell you how valuable your advice was in pointing me in the right direction! Thank you again for your time, I am eagerly waiting for your response.


#4

Dear smojo:

Greetings. Custody/visitation is set up by agreement or by court. Yes, if he signs the agreement then custody is established.

Instead of a separation agreement, you can do a consent custody order to establish the custody.

No, custody can be set/established/agreed upon at anytime, and does not need to be before the divorce.

I am glad that we can help, but please do ensure that you have an attorney review anything you plan to sign. Thank you.

Janet L. Fritts
Attorney with Rosen Divorce
4101 Lake Boone Trail, Suite 500
Raleigh, North Carolina 27607
919.787.6668 main phone
919.256.1665 direct fax

10925 David Taylor Drive, Suite 100
Charlotte, North Carolina 28262
704.644.2831 main voice
704.307.4595 main fax

ROSENDIVORCE.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.


#5

My husband and I have been separated for 2 years, and I have some questions about filing for divorce and obtaining a child support order. We lived in NC during the course of our 5 year marriage, then I moved back home to Maryland during our separation, while he remained in NC. I recently (3 months) ago moved back to NC and don’t know where to start with the divorce proceedings. Questions:

1)I read that I must be a resident of Wake Co. for six months prior to filing for divorce. Are there any exceptions to this? i.e. I purchased a home here 3 months ago as a permanent primary residence. My soon-to-be-ex has remained in NC, although not in Wake Co.

  1. We do not have a legal separation, so the custody, visitation and child support for our 2 children has yet to be spelled out in writing. I would like to do this all at once with the divorce, if possible. If I must wait another 3 months to establish residency to file for the divorce, how do I go about getting a child support order now?

  2. I have looked at the child support calculators to determine what his responsibility is, but how can I determine this without knowing what his income is? How do I get him to disclose this?

4)In spite of having a college degree and being a licensed therapist, my S-T-B ex is in the process of ‘starting his own business’. He has only worked various part-time odd jobs with many gaps in between jobs. This has gone on for almost 3 years. Is there such a thing as him being ordered to work full time in order to provide for his children? In other words, could child support end up being calculated based on whatever part-time job he has at the moment? His earning potential is greater than mine, but I provide 95% on the financial support for the children while he maintains that he doesn’t make enough money to support them. Do I have any legal recourse to make him ‘piss or get off the pot’ as far as his business is concerned?

  1. When we legally establish custody/ visitation schedules, can I spell out such things as what time the children must be returned home on school nights? If so, how is this enforced?

6)He agreed to the bare minimum in child support verbally when we separated. He also sent me a handwritten notarized letter agreeing to pay. In the 2+ years we have been separated, he has paid only a fraction of what he agreed to in this letter. Can he be held accountable for back child support based on this, since it was not court ordered?

I sincerely appreciate you taking the time to answer my questions. I was delighted to find this website, and the responses I read to other questions were very helpful. Thank you!