Separation agreement/lost job/child support/alimon

Dear ElisaNC:

Greetings. He should apply through the NC Child Support Enforcement Agency for a new amount (there is caselaw that may not allow this), but it is likely that he can get his child support reduced. He does owe this amount to her, so he should make arrangements to pay it in the future if he cannot now. I would also, while filing with child support enforcement, try to negotiate an amendment where he could at least pay the sums due at a later date. Thank you.

Janet L. Fritts
Attorney with Rosen Divorce
4101 Lake Boone Trail, Suite 500
Raleigh, North Carolina 27607
919.787.6668 main phone
919.256.1665 direct fax

10925 David Taylor Drive, Suite 100
Charlotte, North Carolina 28262
704.644.2831 main voice
704.307.4595 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.

I have a friend who has been separated as of March 2004.

When he signed his separation papers he made $50,000 a year.

He agreed to pay $900 a month in child support and $550 a month in “alimony” until the children (twins) turned 3, which won’t be until next year this time.

He did not get an attoryney of his own.

Sometime after their separation he was fired from his job.

He now has another job making $35,000.

He cannot afford the $1450 per month that he signed in his separation papers.

He told his “wife” that obviously he could not afford what was agreed upon in their separation agreement she agreed (not in writing) to accept $1150.00 per month instead.

Since October 2004 (until then, he paid the full $1450) he started having the $1150 automatically deposited into her account each week like a pay check.

She has now come back and said that she wants him to pay the “back” $300 per month that he hasn’t paid since October.

What are his options?

If the separation agreement states $1450, then does he owe that money no matter how much money he makes??

Does he have a case?

Who is right?

He works M-F 7:30AM - 5:30PM and some weekends. (He is salaried).

He is supposed to get his children Tuesdays and Thursday nights and every other weekend.

His “wife” just got a stay at home job last week after over 5 months of looking.

His “wife” worked up until the kids were born.

They were married less than 2 years.

He left the marriage with nothing. She is keeping her house.

Any suggestions would be greatly appreciated.

He would like to be divorced as soon as possible and needs his own attorney, obviously.