I am still paying child support, though the children are living with me and the custody arrangement has changed. What should I do?
Child custody and child support are often very difficult issues to address. Both parents want equal time with their child; however, in most cases, the child will spend more time with one parent simply because the child’s primary residence is with that parent. Because both parents have an obligation to support their child financially, even after the divorce, one parent typically pays the other parent child support. It is designed to ensure that the child has the financial support he or she needs even though both parents are not residing in the same house with the child.
There are times when the custody arrangement may change due to a parent’s work schedule, an illness or for some other reason. The parents may change the custody arrangement between themselves without going through the court system or one parent may simply leave the child with the other parent without asking. When this happens to the parent who is paying child support, the situation becomes complicated. The parent is still required under the child support order to pay child support to the other parent even though the child is now living with him or her.
Modifying Child Support Payments
Child custody and child support are two separate issues under North Carolina family law. If a parent stops paying child support, even though the child is living with that parent now, that person may be in contempt of a court order. Child support can only be terminated or modified by order of the court. If you are paying child support through the court and you stop paying it, the court can take action against you to collect the child support payments.
However, if you petition the court to terminate or modify child support based on a new custody arrangement, the court will review the current circumstances and make the necessary adjustments to custody and support. Petitioning the court to modify or terminate child support is the only way to terminate or modify your child support obligation. If your child is now living with you, contact our office to schedule a consultation with one of our family law attorneys. We can assist you in protecting yourself and your child by obtaining a new court order regarding custody and child support.
Contact an Experienced Jacksonville Child Support Attorney
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