PSS award

I’ll just address #1. Either party can seek to modify child support at any time that they feel that the modification would result in a 15% or more difference. Some of the conditions for modifcation can be found on this website. The more common situations are:
-Child aging out ( has turned 18 and graduated from high school)
-change in custody/visitation
-change in income, loss of job
-change in insurance
-change in extraordinary expenses
-change in residence/moving
You do not need a lawyer to modify child support. There is a form that you file and it takes a few months to set a court date and take effect.

Generally child support can only modified if there is a substantial change in circumstances, that usually means it was more than three years since the last modification, a child is no longer eligible to receive support, either party has a fifteen percent decrease or increase in expenses, or some other major change such as one party begins to incur day care expenses. In your case it is likely support will stay the same until your oldest ages out.

PSS will last for the period of time specified in your order. Generally, a Judge will put a time limit on the award of one to two years and your alimony trial will typically occur within that time period. Once an alimony award is made PSS will terminate. Marital fault would be introduced and considered by the court at a hearing on alimony.

Your argument in number three sounds perfectly reasonable to me, unfortunately the legislature does not agree with us, a court does not have jurisdiction to consider college expenses.

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

301 McCullough Drive
Suite 510
Charlotte, NC 28262
Main Voice: 704.307.4600
Main Fax: 704.943.0044

1829 East Franklin Street, Bldg 600
Chapel Hill, NC 27514
919.321.0780 main phone
919.787.6668 main fax


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.

The judge just handed down her PSS award and I am to receive 3400/month. Child support was 4100/month for 3 children. We asked for a higher deviation from the guidelines as the children are all involved in lots of extracurricular activities and have enjoyed a high standard of living. My mortgage, home owners insurance, property tax and health insurance will be paid also, along with attorney fees. Also a lump sum of 15K for maintenance and to have hy husband’s professional practice evaluated. My attorney shared this to me in an email from the judge. She asked him to write it up as an order. There was no time limit or termination. We are not divorced, but have been separated since Oct


  1. Does this child support stay the same until the oldest ages out (in two years) The judge didn’t say how much for each child, just that the amount was for 3 minor children. (We do have a son 18 who is going to college, but I know legally my spouse does not have to pay anything for him)

2)Does this PSS stay the same until I would file for permanent alimony,and would I necessarily have to file for that. My husband has commited marital fault (adultery) and also was an alcoholic which made my life intolerable. Would all this be brought up at the alimony trial if we go in that direction.

3)We have not done property division yet. My atty wants to do that soon as husband has a AA suit against him from his girlfriend’s husband. In the property division could we ask for an equitable but uneven split as I was abandoned by him with 4 children to raise and to send to college. I have premarital debt but he always paid his credit cards down each month as he said this was his way to save for college. He would put the children’s college expenses on credit. We agreed on this (of course not in writing) throughout our marriage. Now here we are with our first to go to college and he has left, and refuses to help with college as he “legally doesn’t have to” and he is in high debt himself post separation with atty fees and maintaining two households and a live-in girlfriend. I know my kids will have to apply for financial aid like everyone else but that doesn’t cover everything a college age kid needs - parents still have to be there to help with car insurance, clothes, feeding and housing them on breaks and during the summer, etc. I just think if this was our plan (to have the children’s college paid for by using his credit cards instead of having a saving plan) then in someway he should be accountable for this, at least by taking on more of the marital debt so I can now more easily pay for the kid’s college. Does this sound reasonable to present to a judge at a ED hearing?

Thanks for your advice. Your web site is great!!