Modification of support

There are various reasons to modify support:
-aging out of children
-change in income of either party
-changes in day care/child care expenses
-increases/decreases in insurance cost
The change must be 15% or more. Your husband’s ability to show that his income HAS decreased (not will) is the key to all of this. If his income has decreased so substantially and he did not willingly depress it, then he should be entitled to a modification of support. Think about how things would be if you were still married; if his income decreased to that extent you (as a family) would have to decrease your expenses.


But then I would expect that both parties should have to adjust their budgets. Would he also have to show his financial affadavit and would my atty be looking to see that he has not overspent his income in the year 2007. There were some items on his spring affadavit that he said at the time he was paying for but he has not - like car insurance for the children and educational expenses for our college child.

Part of the problem with his budget is that when he separated he bought a large home and furnished it with all new things. He thought then his salary would not decrease, but it had.

I guess what I am saying is what party has to decrease their budget more - ours or his. we do not have much left (or any) left over at the end of the month.

I can’t think of too many divorce situations, especially involving children, where either party comes out ahead or doesn’t have to change their standard of living in some way. Perhaps you need to have a discussion with your children about finances and expenses?
You cannot dictate how your ex spends his money, nor can he dictate how you spend yours.
We pay a big chunk of change in support each month,we also pay for child care expenses, part of the cost of extracurricular activities, gas to get the child and take him places and of course our own expenses. Even w/ 2 incomes we don’t have a lot left over at the end of the month, it seems like no one does these days!
You can run the calculator yourself on this site.

I guess a more specific question would be, is it too early for him to ask for a modification if the award was made in July 2007. When asked at the spring trial what his income was he stated the 5th (he would not answer) From the info at the trial in the spring it appeared that his business was doing well (or the same as it had been 2005 and 2006)

The other question is, this may just be a temporary decrease in his salary and who is to say it may not return to its previous level in 6-8 months. If it does, how would I know, and then do I take him back to court.

It is probably too early for him to try and modify. He can always try but they will probably base it on his income for the last 2 yrs. as they did in the first hearing and average it out, He would have more luck if he had a year’s worth, or at least 6 months worth of severely decreased income that he could show, and that doesn’t sound like it is the case.
I would also add here that I think you are worrying needlessly at this point. He hasn’t filed, it hasn’t been modified…there’s no use worrying about it until you know it is going to happen. In the meantime I think I would do the following: 1. run the calculator on this site and see the best/worst case scenario; 2. tell your kids that you might have to go back to court with your ex about some financial issues because Dad’s business isn’t doing too well; 3. start thinking about ways that you can economize if you need to.
With #2 I’m not suggesting that you be mean or negative about their father but explain how support works and that it is based on both of your incomes and the money is used to support them. With #3 I would be thinking about the “extras” I could trim from my household expenses to save some money…meals out,cable/satellite, clothing, movies, dvd’s etc. the kids may be able to help you with this depending on their ages.

Thanks, your comments were helpful and we will begin to cut back, just in case.

He did file the motion with the court but does that mean that it will be heard. Does the judge get to say if it goes to trial now or wait to see what his income would be in 6 months, for instance. I could see if his salary was bc he changed jobs, but he has not. Same job, same location, just some bad luck (which I could say wasn’t his fault, but if he is saying he lost clients bc he committed adultery - well it is against the law and that was his choice)

Also when the atty answers could the question be addressed whether he could ask me to pay his atty fees on this hearing. I am the dependent spouse by far. That does not seem fair if it would be true.

I can’t see that there is any way you would have to pay his attorney’s fees. He filed the motion. He has more income. He is not a hardship case.

Even if your spouse’s income has decreased, if he can afford to pay the support he was previously paying, then the child support will not be changed. In order to modify support he will have to show he has had a 15% increase or decrease in income. Considering the hearing was only in June, I do not think that a Judge will change child support yet.

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

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

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Building 600
Chapel Hill, NC 27514
(919) 321.0780


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PSS hearing was in May and child support was in June. Results from judge handed down in July and gave the amount husband was to pay for SS/CS staring in August and also had orders for back support and payment of atty fees that he was to pay to me. I am a dependent spouse, financially with him always making about 80% and me 20% throughout our 22 year marriage. Husband was not able to state clearly his current income to the judge at the spring hearing, so his earnings from 2005 and 2006 were used. He makes about 300K so CS was deviated from the guidelines.

He is now filing a modification saying he knows what his 2007 income will be and it will be 60% less than what he made in 2005 and 2006 (now only 200K) He owns an independent business and the only reason for such a considerable dropoff would be from less referral clients to him during 2007. He did have one week off for sickness (never had that before) and his vacation time was about the same. He feels people in 2007 were not seeking his business bc of his adultery and subsequent divorce.

My Question? My expenses for the children (4 at home) have not changed and I have kept good records of spending. Would a judge change the CS award based on this new info. What if his business starts picking up in 2008 and is back to the level it has been after a few months. We can’t keep taking each other back to court. Is there a time limit to how long you have to making a certain amount before they will make changes. He is also asking for me to pay his atty fees. Is this possible?