The first thing I would tell you is this. In NC it makes no difference to the court whether you even pay child support. Custody/visitation and child support are separate matters and can not be tied together.
Secondly, I suggest that you let the ex know that the children do not have a choice in the matter. It is your custodial time with them and if you have a schedule stick to it. Let her know, in writing, that your son believes that he doesn’t have to go until child support is paid up and that is not the case. Let her know that you will be there, specified day and time and that the police will be with you. Legally, she can not stop visitations due to unpaid child support. Show up an hour early if you can so they do not have a chance to leave.

Last, when you DO get your children there with you, you should sit them down first thing and talk to them about this. Show them your check stub, explain what child support is. You do not have to say their mother is lying, they will figure that out themselves, but show them that you are meeting your responsibilities and expect them to do the same. Their responsibility is to visit with you, enjoy the time they have and to be kids as long as they can. All the rest is between you and their mother. Let them know that. They should not be put in the middle of this and you are not going to put them there by discussing it. You are their father and there is nothing that will change that fact. You are doing what’s best for them. Now, when they get older, if they want to discuss facts or details, that’s entirely up to you on what you share. Until then, they have their visitations and it will make things easier on them if they just keep out of the rest of it…It sounds harsh but you have to make sure they realize that you want them there with you. You want them to know that YOU are taking care of them and that is your only concern.

If you are confronted with the children repeating things she has said about you, simply present them with the facts if you want to “defend”, tell them that they are too young for you to discuss the situation with them, or ask them if they believe whatever lie she has told. Deal with each incident as it comes up and as needed.

My husband’s ex did the same with us until both children told her they were sick of hearing about it. She even let them read the court complaint when my husband filed for custody…now at 7 & 10, they did not understand a great deal of it other than Dad was saying terrible stuff about mom. I respect her because she is their mother, but what she put them through during their divorce…I lost every bit of tolorance or compassion. She lies to them, she’s not a nice person, lets them run wild and she is a lousy mother. But they have NEVER heard me say that or even know that I believe it. They have even been with us when she yelled and screamed at me for looking at her…all I told them when they apologized for her behavior was that it was something that they didn’t need to worry about. They said but she called you a ****, and I told them, so what…that’s only a word and I know it’s not true it doesn’t hurt me. The only part that hurt me was that they heard it and they saw her acting this way.

Keep in mind that children love both parents and there’s little that the other parent can do to change that.


Thanks for replying, but I was hoping for a little more. What legal recourse do I have. My son is only 14!!! For the last 49 weeks she has been poisoning my kids!!! COME ON!!! This type of behavior has been going on since the separation. She is in clear violation of the court order(s). What can I do???

Dennis Onken


Your legal recourse would be to take this back to court so that the judge can clarify what the order says or hold her in contempt. You should document everything. If the police are going to the house with you, there will be an “incident” report or some sort of paperwork. Get copies of that.

I know that at 14 your son is probably more headstrong that the other children, if he’s the oldest. You have to stand your ground on this. He does not have a legal choice of visiting. If he doesn’t want to visit then he needs to give you a valid reason and child support is not valid. Child support is between you and your ex and the children have no business being in the middle of it.

I’m not sure what the courts do or have the power to do about parental alienation…I know that if she has been ordered not to discuss this stuff then the e-mail from your son itself will be enough to get her back in court…
Maybe some of the others or the attorney has more.


You can go to court in North Carolina and ask them to enforce the order. You can also move to hold her in contempt for not following the order that is currently in place. If you return to court on these issues not only can the court order her to comply, they can also modify the order so that it is more specific about how vacation time is to occur.

The first step would be to register the order in North Carolina and then move to modify the order or file a motion and order to show cause.

P.S. Please feel free to bring up this or any other topic on our live call-in show every Wednesday at 11:00 a.m. EST. Visit for details

Helena M. Nevicosi
Attorney with Rosen Law Firm

4101 Lake Boone Trail, Suite 500
Raleigh, North Carolina 27607
919.787.6668 main phone
919.787.6361 main fax

Charlotte Office
301 McCullough Drive
Suite 510
Charlotte, NC 28262
Main Phone: (704)307.4600
Main Fax: (704) 9343.0044

Durham & Chapel Hill Office
1829 East Franklin Street
Building 600
Chapel Hill, NC 27514
(919) 321.0780


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 only, a full discussion with an attorney should be undertaken before taking any action. The information posted on this forum is available for public viewing and is not intended to create an attorney client relationship with any individual. These answers are provided for informational purposes only, a person should consult with their own individual legal counsel before taking any action that could affect their legal rights or obligations.


My ex and I have a California divorce decree. She now lives in NC and i live in FL. Part of the visitation gives me 3 weeks with my 3 kids in the summer. Every time this event is like pulling teeth and I have to go and “get” them, literally. Last time I even had to call the police because they weren’t home. Any way, I just received this email from my son regarding our 3 weeks together:

“No problem. But dad idk if i will be able to go. You are way behind on child
support and i dont think i will go until that is paid off. You have responsibilities
and you havent done them.”

First off, she has been ordered by the court to not discuss these types of issues, and secondly, it is taken right out of my paycheck by California!!!

What can I do? All she does is bad mouth me to my kids.

Dennis Onken