Non-Custodial Father Issues

Mr. Moreland,

I see this all the time…people in your predicament can rarely afford to file the motion. Be advised: You can file your motion to modify. You can/should request a reduction retroactive back to the date of filing of your motion. Unfortunately, it will take some time to get to Court to tell your side. Historically, Judge’s are unsympathetic to voluntarily reducing your income to “go back to school”. It is different, possibly, if a Judge believes that you can no longer support your children with your present job because of the job…there’s not a lot of need for say dodo bird handlers. You will still be held accountable to pay at least that amount you would be required to pay if you had a minimum wage job.

The real problem is not “eventually” getting a reduction, but protecting yourself from going to jail for failing to pay your child support obligation. Unfortunately, you are in real jeopardy. You will be held responsible for failing to pay child support unless you can prove that you spent all your money only on essentials. Repayment of student loans won’t cut it. I represented a guy who went to jail because he spent $25 on golf one month and he failed to pay his obligation in full. You “should” be OK if you are very diligent about keeping records and she takes you back to court. So, you’ve got to keep track of every dime. If after paying for your essentials, you can afford to pay $74.26, you had better pay that $74.26.

Please do file the motion to modify/reduce ASAP since you get no “credit” for those months you really can’t pay unless you file the motion.

Good luck.

The Rosen Law Firm
4101 Lake Boone Trail, Suite 200
Raleigh, North Carolina 27607
919.787.3490 direct voice
919.256.1670 direct fax
919.787.6668 main voice

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.

Yes, I’m the non-custodial father. I have always paid my child support until I became laid off, losing my job due to cut backs. I have been searching for a job for quite some time to no avail. The main reason why I wasn’t hired was due to the lack of obtaining my degree. So, with much debating, I started back to school to obtain my degree, notifying the custodial parent of my intentions. Now, I know the Child Support doesn’t get modified unless I appear in front of the judge. I would love to do this, however, with no income, except for Student Loans, I cannot afford a attorney to represent me to do so. (Most wanting $1000 retaining fee up front). My question is, will NC modify the Support Order while I’m attending school and without a job? It’s not that I haven’t been searching for one, it’s that in my field, they want the degree. Who should I speak to? Everywhere I go, I get turned away. I want to pay, but I can’t afford the payments now and survive. Also, I am a single father from a previous marriage and what I get for student loans goes to tuition and the remainder goes to supply the roof over my sons head and food. Any information on what I should do or could do would be greatly appreciated. Thanks!


M. Moreland