Extraordinary Expenses/arrears, child support or custody?

I have recently used the county child support office to modify child support and a temp order was entered in June. I wasn’t able to be present for the hearing because after the date was set, I was diagnosed with cancer and had surgery the day prior to the hearing. I did ask for the date to be changed and was told no. The temp order was based just on the worksheet as calculated by the county case worker. However I have a 14 year old wearing braces that are $6600 (I have already paid about $5000 of it and am making monthly payments for 7 more months) and I want my ex to pay half. We have six children total together, three are now adults and three are minors. I have primary custody of all of the minors and did at one time of two of the adults. One son “left me” one morning when he was 13 and never came back. As a result of my ex having 365 overnights with that one kid, the previous order was $0 on both sides and the judge ordered that as a deviation from the worksheet. That child also desperately needed braces, so I approached my ex who agreed in writing that he would pay for braces for that child (who was 16 at that time) and I would pay for braces for the other child and it would be even. Of course, he never proceeded to get the older child braces and that child is now 18 and graduated four months ago. I did hold up my end and I feel like my ex should pay half. There are also other expenses such as sports registrations and school overnight field trips that I have paid 100% for seven years. Today was the date for the hearing to make the order permanent and I was told by my case worker to bring my documentation for the judge to decide if he or she would consider it. My ex has an attorney, I no longer do at this point, just the county. Literally everyone in that courtroom was so angry with me that I was simply asking the judge to consider these things and the county attorney told me it could not heard anyway because it is not support, but custody I am asking to modify. Per the 2020 guidelines, orthodontia is support, not custody. In the end, my ex’s attorney was mad because she said she was just showing up to get the permanent order done and everyone agreed to a continuance. How can I best get a judge to consider these things? My kids are all gifted athletes and play all-star and travel sports and the sports, field trips and braces were all things my ex supported during the marriage and we either paid for or agreed that we would pay for if need arose (braces). Complicating things further, my ex has a side landscaping job that he lies about and I have photos of him doing the job on my street in my neighborhood for my neighbors, so to just let it go is not my preference. I may end up doing just that as a retainer for a lawyer would hardly be worth it, but all I really want is for the judge to consider it. If he or she says no, I can accept that, but I think it needs to be heard. Please help!

You should be able to present evidence of your expenses for things like extracurriculars and uninsured healthcare costs and the judge can order a percentage split.

Generally for extracurricular costs to be divided, they must be mutually agreed upon, and for uninsured healthcare expenses, they should be “reasonable and necessary.”

You can also present evidence as to your ex’s side job and the income that it adds for him, which will then discredit his testimony about his actual income.

Anna Ayscue

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

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