Reason to adjust child support


Over two years ago, me and my ex-wife signed a mediated property settlement and separation agreement. In this agreement it states “Until 36 months MSA, I shall pay monthly child support in the amount of XXX. Effective 36 months MSA either party may request and the other party shall comply that the child support be recalculated in accordance with North Carolina state guidelines.” It also states that support will be recalculated if my income involuntarily drops below a certain level. The agreement doesn’t state any other reasons that we can revisit the child support being paid but I believe North Carolina states that child support can be reviewed if a substantial change occurs resulting in a 15% change in the child support obligation. We agreed upon an initial amount 27 months ago. Even with no change in circumstance, the amount would be reduced by 21%. However she has since gotten married and started a part time job. Would this be considered sufficient to move forward to recalculate the amount? In addition, can all other aspects of the mediated agreement be revisited at this time? She is not agreeing to anything and we will probably go through the courts.


Based on the quoted portion you provided, you are likely able to recalculate child support after 36 months have passed from the entry of the agreement with no other triggering factors needing to be present.

NC Child Support Guidelines state that a substantial change in circumstances allowing a child support modification is presumed if 3 years have passed since the original child support amount was entered and there is a difference of 15% or more between the current child support obligation amount and what the new child support obligation amount would be after a recalculation based on the parents’ now current circumstances.

The fact that your ex-wife is now working a part time job would be considered in the new child support obligation. The fact that she is remarried would not. Only the incomes of the biological parents are considered.

The other terms of the separation agreement can be amended if both parties agree to the amendment and the separation agreement allows for amendments.

Anna Ayscue

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

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