Reason to modify child support


#1

I will be interested in hearing the reply. I am in the opposite boat. I faithfully pay my child support, but my ex wife married a wealthy man. She bascially uses my child support for mad money and lives on his wealth while I struggle to make ends meet. She lives the high life and there are months I have to really squeeze every penny. She does not work and I work 40+ hours a week.


#2

Pursuant to NCGS 50-13.4©, the court is supposed to consider the “accustomed standard of living of the child and the parties” when setting child support. If your child lived “better” when you were married than he does now when he is in your custody, and you are acting in “good faith” and not spending the money you do have wastefully or foolishly, then your “let’s move the standards of living closer together” argument might gain some traction with the court. On the other hand, if your ex became very successful financially after your separation and your financial situation remained pretty much the same, your argument is much less convincing, in my opinion.

That having been said, since you’re a female and, I presume, the custodial parent, all you have to do is go to court and cry “poverty” and you’ll likely get more child support money. The court will find some way to give it to you. Tell the judge about all the stuff your child has at his dad’s house, and contrast that with the deprivation he suffers while in your custody. Interesting how the courts rarely consider financial fitness as a significant factor in their custody decisions.

Sorry to hear about your situation, edtaylor. Here in NC, custodial parents are not required to provide any financial support to their children. Guidelines or non-Guidelines - the result is the same. Your ex realizes this, and is likely using the child support you pay as tax-free play money. Maybe some of it is spent on your child; perhaps none of it is. Until the child support system in NC is changed to:

  1. Provide some accountability of the manner in which child support funds are spent;

and

  1. Ensure that the custodial parent is contributing his/her fair share;

custodial parents will continue to be able to abuse the system without consequence.


#3

I have recently read about several state (Oklahoma is one I think) that have actually passed legislation making the custodial parent accountable for the monies that are paid to them in child support. They actually have to give a periodic accounting to their courts as to what they did with that money. Too bad NC will not follow suit. I have sent many emails to our lawmakers, but they will not do anything about it.


#4

Unfortunately N.C.'s Judicial system is so backwards and biased, I doubt we’ll ever see actual “justice” carried out in Domestic courts. Our kids will be on this site talking about how they got “hosed” by the system before that happens. Hopefully, one day, someone will follow the money and see why the court is so dead set against making the system fair.


#5

Dear bohica:

Greetings. Possibly. You could ask the court to deviate from the child support guidelines based solely on the child’s needs being/not being met.

No, the standard is not “best interests of the child” for child support. The standard is the guideline amount and the child’s reasonable needs.

Also, unfortunately, the court in this situation may say that Mom needs to reduce her bills and modify her lifestyle down to a more moderate one. For example, move from a house to an apartment, etc. However, the reasonable needs of the child must be met by the court. Good luck.

Janet L. Fritts
Attorney with Rosen Law Firm

4101 Lake Boone Trail, Suite 500
Raleigh, North Carolina 27607
919.787.6668 main phone
919.256.1665 direct fax

301 McCullough Drive Suite 510
Charlotte, North Carolina 28262
704.644.2831 main voice
704.307.4595 main fax

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

ROSEN.COM

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.


#6

The Court itself created the huge disparity in living standards of the households. The Court created over a 20,000 month income disparity between my ex and me. The Court reduced me and my child to live a 50,000 year life while my ex walked off with half a million income each year. I received 200 over the guideline amount for a combined income of 240,000 for child support. For me and my child, I receive 31,000 a year after taxes from the ex. I gave up because the judge was determined that I get as little as possible. It’s been that way since day one with this judge. I have never gotten anything and my ex keeps on taking me back to Court. I was in Court this past week for contempt. My ex sued me for 483.00 when he has over 20,000 a month in cash and God knows how much more from his investments. I don’t even have a lawyer because no lawyer will even touch this case. I go in that Courtroom against my ex, his two lawyers, and the judge—all by myself which I know is stupid, but at this point, no matter what, I know I have no chance–with or without a lawyer–so I just don’t give a damn anymore. Thanks for your help although I know no one can help me. At least the judge didn’t put me in jail, but that’s probably coming.


#7

Dear bohica:

Greetings. My suggestion, although not a great one, is to reduce your lifestyle to be within your current means. Do the best you can. Good luck.

Janet L. Fritts
Attorney with Rosen Law Firm

4101 Lake Boone Trail, Suite 500
Raleigh, North Carolina 27607
919.787.6668 main phone
919.256.1665 direct fax

301 McCullough Drive Suite 510
Charlotte, North Carolina 28262
704.644.2831 main voice
704.307.4595 main fax

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

ROSEN.COM

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.


#8

$31,000 a year in child support? My step-daughter gets $55 per month. I think you should be able to make ends meet. I can’t imagine any child that needs $31,000 to meet it’s reasonable needs per year.


#9

The courts do not care whether you have to live under an overpass, or have food, as long as you make the support payments, no matter how unreasonable. Again, logic and common sense are evidently not topics covered in law school. The courts repeatedly ignore the fact that the non custodial parent living in poverty, or eventually homeless, does not benefit the children. All this does is further alienate the non-custodial parent from the children and encourage the state to continue their program of forced poverty.


#10

I DO NOT RECEIVE 31,000 PER YEAR IN CHILD SUPPORT!!! The 31,000 is the TOTAL AMOUNT I RECEIVE FOR ALIMONY AND CHILD SUPPORT COMBINED FROM A MAN WHO MAKES HALF A MILLION PER YEAR! AND THE ORDERS STIPULATE THAT I HAVE TO PAY 50% OF UNINSURED MEDICAL AND EXTRACURRICULAR ACTIVITIES WHEN I CANNOT AFFORD THE THINGS HE CAN FOR MY SON! HE IS ABUSING THIS REQUIREMENT BY SIGNING MY CHILD UP FOR LUXURY ITEMS WHICH COST MORE THAN I CAN AFFORD SO HE CAN FURTHER MAKE SURE THAT I HAVE ABSOLUTELY NOTHING! AND HAWKMAN, YOU ARE RIGHT. THE COURTS DO NOT CARE.


#11

Would an extreme disparity in the standards of living between the two households be a reason to modify the child support order? Guidelines do not apply in my case. Wouldn’t the Court consider the best interest of the child in this type of circumstance? Where Daddy O-Bucks is living the high life and Mom can’t even pay her bills? That from one house to the other there is a huge, and I mean huge, difference in the standards? Also, how do I go about getting a judicial reassignment?