Voluntary decrease in income

Why did you leave your first job? If you left the job voluntarily you may be stuck paying child support at the old level. However, it will depend on why you left voluntarily.

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 radio.rosen.com 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

Sutton Station
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Durham, NC 27713
Phone: (919) 321-0780


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I resigned my job in June, then took a short-term assignment, expecting to get a new job with similar income after the short-term job ended. That ended a week ago, and I am furiously looking for work, but in this economy and with my skills I’m not optimistic of finding anything near my previous income. If I do find work at my previous income I will continue child support at the present level.

I asked my ex for an informal, temporary decrease in child support. She said since I voluntary lowered my income she is not obligated to make any agreement with me, and she would only consider a written agreement where I paid back all arrears once I got a new job. This is vindictive on her part since she is remarried and has a combined comfortable six figure income with a nest egg of seven figures. The children have five figure savings and college accounts and want for nothing. In the meantime, I’m running out of savings and time.

I’ve been paying child support regularly since separation in 2004. The separation agreement was signed in December 2005.

Bottom line: Can I legally seek child support modification? When?

Thank you for your help.