Incarceration and Federal Law

I had false criminal charges filed against me. I turned myself in and was incarcerated for five months. I was released on bond and a condition of my release was for me to move out of state to my parents. I had to concurrent child support cases in two counties. The one county only held me responsible for $50.00 for each month I was incarcerated and lowered my child support obligation to what I was making with my new job. The second county held me responsible for my original child support amount for three years until my charges were finally dismissed. The judge found that the condition of my release, moving out of state, was a substantial change in circumstances. She only adjusted my child support from the time I filed instead of when the change in circumstances happened. She also held me responsible for the original child support during the time I was incarcerated.

How does the Federal Law 45. C.F.R. 302.56(c), incarceration may not be treated as voluntary unemployment in modifying a child support order, affect my case? I don’t understand why one county honored this and the other county did not.

Also, I was told that the county child support attorney does not represent the plaintiff. The North Carolina State Bar 2010 Formal Ethics Opinion 5 states that the lawyer representing the CSE program does not represent the custodian of the children. It would defeat the purpose of the CSE legislation if a client-lawyer relationship were automatically created between the CSE lawyer and the custodian of the children because the lawyer would be unable to pursue any future child support action against such custodian should support and custody obligations switch. In this county, the county CSE attorney acts and sounds like he is representing the plaintiff. He talks and argues on her behalf. This was not the case in the other county that I had a concurrent child support case.

Thank you!!!

What the second county did may have been due to the specific language that was or was not in your motion to modify and when your motion was filed. Also, being in jail or prison does not automatically reduce or modify your child support obligation.

The CSE attorney represents the Department of Social Services. The CSE agent, which is part of DSS, is in charge of ensuring compliance with child support orders. Most of the time the interests of the CSE attorney and the CSE agent align, but the custodial parent is not represented by the CSE/DSS attorney.

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.