Visitation Question


Never expect an ex-spouse to give up a single thing for you. It’s personal, until the day they die. What you should have done is file a motion of significant change. A judge considers your reason for not being able to pay the amount they set down. But you had better have a damned good reason for that. Essentially, you said, money is more important to me than seeing my son, so here’s my son back. The court will say, if you work eight hours a day and still can’t make it, there are sixteen hours left. Get hopping. And go get your son back before he realizes what’s happened.


It is very important that you understand that the amount of support you pay for child support does not dictate your custody of the children/visitation/parenting time.

I agree with the previous post that said seek a modification of support based on your inability to pay. Be prepared to bring your pay stub in to discuss what your current earning is. Hopefully you can demonstrate a change in circumstances, but even if you cannot, you do not lose your ability to have visitation time due to difficulty in paying your support.

Also, the custody provisions you mentioned were in a 50b order, so they remain only for a year from the date of the order. A new custody order will need to be sought. You can seek to enforce your ability to share custody. You and your child would be best served by going back to your original custody/visitation, regardless of the financial issues. They are legally separate issues and this should not get in your way of being with your child.

Do not take your child away from the day care center unless it is clearly communicated with their mother and the center. Not that it is not permissible under your custody agreement, (but you need to be sure) it does not look like you are taking the kids from their mother in violation of a court order. Just be sure everyone is on the same page before you initiate and resume your visitation.

One last thing. You may be able to seek access to the court’s custody mediation program, give the clerk a call to get the contact information for utilizing court mediation. You can also seek to use a community based mediation center. This is useful if you can get your spouse to agree to participate. Good luck.

Deborah M. Throm
Rosen Law Firm
1829 E. Franklin Street, Bldg. 600
Chapel Hill, NC 27514
919.265.0017 direct
919.321.0780 main voice

4101 Lake Boone Trail
Suite 500
Raleigh, NC 27607
919.256.1544 direct
919.787.6668 main voice

301 McCullough Drive
Suite 510
Charlotte, NC 28262
704.644.2531 ext. 100


Thank you for your reply and your advice. I will do as you instructed and not remove my son from the daycare center without notifying the proper parties.

I am however unclear on one portion of your response. If custody has no bearing on Child Support then why is the “number of days spent with each parent” a factor in the Child Support formula?

Regarding modification: There have been no changes of circumstances to speak off,therefore I can’t see a judge agreeing to modify support. I understand that this “should not” interfere with my spending time with my son but the plain and simple truth is that it is financially impossible for me to pay the amount of support in place now AND maintain half of the custody of my son as I had been doing. Despite what the law dictates there is a certain amount of reality that comes in to play with my situation. My spouse,so far, will not agree to anything outside of the previous 50/50 arrangement in conjunction with the $1000 a month of support. I really feel that is the epitome of the " between a rock and a hard place" scenario.

The fact that her false claim of domestic violence merited her free legal counsel for all facets of our situation doesn’t make it any easier I can assure you.

Thanks again for your attention and response…


My wife and I have been seperated for over a year now and have not entered in to a seperation agreement. We do have certain terms of our seperation defined in an addendum to a 50b order. The amount of child support I’m to pay,the items I was allowed to remove from the marital residence,the custody terms for our 4 yr old(50/50),etc. The amount of child support I am paying is twice the amount dictated by the state guidelines in a shared custody situation… Regardless,I maintained the 50/50 custody terms for six months and at that point it became financially impossible for me to continue with those terms and that amount and my ex spouse would not agree to any sort of modification. I had to relinquish my share of the custody.

Since that time I have been visiting my child on a weekly basis at the daycare facility that he attends and that is the only time I can see him. My question is (finally): When visiting him at the daycare,am I allowed to take him off premises provided I return him to the daycare by the end of the day?..Nothing major, certainly not out of state, but can I take him out to lunch? To the museum for a couple of hours? To my house to play with the tons of toys he has here?..

Thank you in advance for your advice…