Utah recently enacted a new statute that denies hunting and fishing licenses to those who are delinquent on child support payments. They have recently began notifying some of those people that they may be denied licenses based on their delinquency. According to their state child support enforcement records, roughly 19,000 are currently behind on payments, and of those 19,000, roughly 9,500 are hunters or fishermen that have applied for licenses in the past. The interesting correlation between hunting/fishing and child support aside, Utah’s new statute is not groundbreaking in any way. In fact, North Carolina has had a similar statute for years. Continue reading →
Angel v. Sandoval, COA20-236 (unpublished 2020).
If your ex, or you, lost a job and income and considered modifying child support to a lower amount in response, it may not always mean that the modification will be granted. Here in North Carolina, it depends on the circumstances surrounding the job and income loss. If it was intentional, with bad faith, then the court may impute income based on the parent’s earning capacity rather than actual current income. However, the analysis is nuanced and can be difficult to show. Below is one such case where there simply was not enough evidence to impute. Continue reading →
Koufman v. Koufman, 330 N.C. 93, 408 S.E.2d 729 (NC 1991)
Child support orders are modifiable in North Carolina when there is a substantial change in circumstances. But what happens when your child moves to a school away from home, such as a boarding school or preparatory academy? These institutions have dormitories where students live for most of the school year. They get breaks for holidays and summer. Tuition covers most of their living expenses. Below we discuss how the Court analyzed the expenses. Continue reading →
Bishop v. Bishop, ____ N.C. App. _____ (Dec. 2020)
Child support in North Carolina is typically determined by a formula set out by the legislature and applied in child support guidelines and their worksheets. However, it was known for some income levels that the formula no longer becomes equitable. Too low or too high of income both throw a wrench into the calculus. For higher income families, the court may forgo the use of the guidelines and make findings on the reasonable needs of the child when compared to a parent’s ability to pay; meaning it should account for their assets, debts, and lifestyle. Continue reading →
Suppose you are separated or divorced, or you have recently retired or been placed on disability, and are the parent of a minor child. If you receive dependent benefits through Social Security or the Veterans Administration, your child support obligation may be reduced or eliminated, provided you are not behind or delinquent on your current court-ordered payments. Continue reading →
Gyger v. Clement, ___ N.C. ___ (August 2020) (31PA19)
In North Carolina, foreign orders for child support can be registered in this state, allowing our courts to enforce the orders. It is extremely helpful to register a foreign order in the state if the party you are seeking relief from resides here. Sometimes, the plaintiff in these actions is not a state resident. Other times, they may not even be a US resident. Below, we examine a case about how testimony can be given when a witness to a child support action is in another country. Continue reading →
Tuel v. Tuel, 840 S.E.2d 917 (2020).
After separation and divorce, it is not unheard of for one spouse to move out of state. If the former couple had minor children together, then the question is which spouse is primarily going to have custody of the children? Improvement to quality of life is only one of the factors that must be taken into account when making the determination. If custody litigation arises, then the Court must review any factor that has bearing on the best interests of the children. These can be complicated cases (as can be seen below), and the parent seeking custody needs to demonstrate that relocating the children to another state best serves the development and growth of the children. Continue reading →
So you’ve moved to Guilford County from Florida and up until your move you and your ex-spouse have been operating under a child custody order that was entered by a judge in a district court in Florida. Now what? North Carolina General Statutes § 50A-305 provides guidelines for registration of child custody determinations in North Carolina. This procedure is optional but may be of benefit to you and your situation. By registering a child custody order in this state, a parent can send a child to another state without concern that the state will not enforce the order if the parent in this state refuses to return the child. Continue reading →
Toussaint v. King, COA19-851 (2020) (unpublished).
In North Carolina, a court has the ability to incarcerate a party for not following a court order. This procedure is called civil contempt. In order to send a party to jail for noncompliance, the court first must find specific facts. For one case of civil contempt for failure to make child support payments, the court did incarcerate the father. Continue reading →