Stepparent Accountable For Child Support?


Dear glyman:

Greetings. You are in a pickle because if child support is paid pursuant to an agreement, you will need to file a Breach of Contract claim to obtain the past due funds and the NC Child Support Enforcement Agency cannot help you with this. If you file with child support enforcement, it is likely that the court will only use his actual income, as they rarely deviate from the child support guidelines. I recommend that you hire an attorney to help you deviate from the guidelines and to try to impute income to your ex. Best of luck.

Janet L. Fritts
Attorney with Rosen Divorce
4101 Lake Boone Trail, Suite 500
Raleigh, North Carolina 27607

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.


My former spouse remarried in February of 2000, 3 months after our divorce was finalized. Since that time, his new wife has been his sole source of income and support. She regularly made child support payments to me on his behalf for our two children, up until 18 months ago when all payments stopped. My former husband left NC in 2001 to attend school in another state, but he maintained his residency in NC with his current wife. While in school, he deviated from his visitation schedule due to the hardship of the distance. He finished school about a year ago and still has not become employed. I don’t believe he has even attempted to seek work during this time. I would like to seek help from the Child Support Enforcement Agency in collecting back payments for child support to this point and monthly payments that are due going forward. If he and his wife decide to have the child support payments recalculated going forward, would the court consider her income versus mine? I am confused about this because my former husband has been voluntarily unemployed for nearly five years, and his current wife has voluntarily supported him and made child support payments for him in the past.