Articles Posted in Child Support

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Maddukuri v. Chintanippu, 2022-NCCOA-128 (1 March 2022)

Stipulations are often used to expedite portions of a case/trial so that there is no time wasted on them, allowing the court to focus on the issues that are actually in contention. The use of stipulations of fact is pretty common. It removes the inconvenience of having to show evidence of facts that no one contests. Stipulations can also be used for settlement. These allow for the concession between parties of some rights in return for others. Below is a case where the Court dealt with the potential withdrawal of a stipulation. Continue reading →

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Defendant Mother appeals from the trial court’s order on child support and custody.  The Court of Appeals reverses and remands.

Plaintiff Father and Defendant Mother married on January 1, 1994.  The parties had two sons and separated on May 10, 1997.  The parties’ divorce judgment was filed on August 17, 1998, which incorporated their separation agreement.  The separation agreement provided a custodial schedule that directed the parties’ two sons to reside primarily with Defendant Mother and to spend every other weekend and summer vacation with Plaintiff Father.  The agreement further provided that Plaintiff Father would pay half of the children’s uninsured medical and dental expenses and $200.00 each month as additional child support. Continue reading →

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Morris v. Powell, 840 S.E.2d 223, 269 N.C.App. 496 (N.C. App. 2020):

North Carolina has very recently decided a case of first impression regarding “de facto emancipation.” Emancipation is typically one of the listed termination events for child support. This is when a child, who has not yet attained the age of majority, petitions the court to be independent and free from parental control. Our statutes allow anyone who is 16 years of age or older to petition the court for a judicial decree of emancipation, if they have been a resident for at least six months in the same county in North Carolina. Continue reading →

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Ex-football star Clinton Portis is in hot water for non-payment of child support. Portis was a second-round pick by the Denver Broncos back in 2002, then was traded to Washington.  He is also a two-time Pro Bowler whose NFL earnings exceeded $43 million during his career until he retired in 2012.  Despite this, Portis filed for bankruptcy in 2015, claiming mismanagement of funds by his financial advisors. Continue reading →

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Argueta v. Baker, 137 A.D.3d 1020, 27 N.Y.S.3d 237 (2016)

There are times where parents do not effectively co-parent. There are even times where one parent goes out of their way to interfere in the parent-child relationship with the other parent. There are ways to enforce the controlling custody order, such as contempt. But New York seems to also have another avenue of relief, asking the court to terminate child support. Note: this is not North Carolina law, it is from New York. Continue reading →

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Harris v. Harris, 352 S.E.2d 869, 84 N.C.App. 353 (N.C. App. 1987)

In the case above, the plaintiff was ordered to pay to defendant an Equitable Distribution (ED) distributive award in the amount of $23,706.82, but payment of the award was postponed until the parties’ youngest child reached age 18 or graduated from high school. The Court of Appeals reversed because, at the time, such a postponement would have extended the distributive award to seven years after the termination of the marriage. This was significant, as the court is not to order a distributive award that would be paid “over such an extended time period that the payment thereof will be treated by the Internal Revenue Service as ordinary income.” Here, the courts look to IRS regulations to prevent taxes on the transfer of property incident to divorce, and IRS rules say gains or losses that result from transfers are not treated as ordinary income if they relate to the cessation of the marriage. However, if a transfer occurs more than six years after the termination of the marriage, one presumes it is not related to the cessation of the marriage. 26 CFR § 1.1041-1T.  That would be rebuttable but involves more work. Continue reading →

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Mendez v. Mendez, 2021-NCCOA-680 (2021)

  • Facts: Plaintiff was ordered to pay defendant $2,271 per month in child support pursuant to a child support order filed in 2015. In 2018, Defendant filed a motion to modify child support. Defendant’s monthly gross income was $3,964. She asserted that the children’s needs have increased with their age, including involvement in new extracurricular activities such as music, fencing, and acting classes. For the initial 2015 order, Plaintiff made much more income. He was a department of defense contractor, owned a business, and VA disability benefits. In 2019, Plaintiff’s VA benefits were increased due to his diagnosis with prostate cancer. In 2018, Plaintiff was admitted to law school and would be attending when his cancer treatments ended. The trial court reduced Plaintiff’s child support obligation due to his decreased income. Defendant appeals.

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Jackson v. Jackson, 2021-NCCOA-614 (2021)

  1. Facts: Mother and Father had an unincorporated child support agreement for their three children. Custody was shared between the parties. Later, one child aged out. Mother then relocated, and one child moved with her. The other remaining minor child moved in with Father. For this period, Father sought temporary child support and termination of his previous child support obligation because of the change in custody situation. Mother then filed a breach of contract for Father’s lowering and subsequent cessation of child support payments. At trial the court considered Father’s bonuses and commissions as part of his income. His base salary was $58,000, but he testified that he expected to get commissions even though he had not yet received any. The court found that father’s income was $71,000 annually.

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Snowden v. Jaure, (Wyoming Supreme Court)

With Covid-19 raging for over a year now, many families have been affected and often negatively. Job loss is just one consequence of the pandemic. This has caused a loss in income for many individuals. In families going through a custody case, it means that child support calculations are going to be affected. Now one state has litigated one such Covid-19 case all the way to their state’s supreme court. Continue reading →

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Madar v. Madar, No.COA20-28 (Dec. 2020).

In North Carolina, court ordered child support can only be modified by further order of the court. Before modification is allowed, the court must find that there has been a substantial change in circumstances that warrant the modification. There is an automatic presumption built into the guidelines that allows modification after three years since the initial order, and a difference between old support payment and new payment of 15%. You can still move to modify before waiting the three years, but the court must make the finding for changed circumstances. Income is inherently intertwined with child support, and below is a case that basically explains the need to make a connection between a parent’s income and the child. Continue reading →