Dear Carolyn,

I need an increase in child support and I just do not have the funds to pursue my need with an attorney. The father of my children lost his job during the pandemic and there was a reduction in child support. Now the father is fully employed and I think he is making more than ever. How do I get my child support increased?


Carolyn Answers:

There is hope. Child support can be modified upon a change of circumstances. Typically, a change of 15 percent in the amount of child support is a change of circumstances with the passage of three years since the last order. However, you may be short of the three years; you do not say when the reduction happened. You do have the factor of the change for the better in the father’s employment.  If the father’s income has significantly improved, I believe most judges would increase your child support based upon the father’s regaining (and perhaps exceeding) his previous income level, regardless of the three year rule.


You can seek child support assistance from Guilford County Child Support Enforcement at 400 West Market St., Greensboro, North Carolina (phone 336-641-6438). There is also a High Point office if you live in High Point. The fee for the application is $25, and you can ask them to reduce the fee to as little as $10 if you show you have inadequate funds. There are a lot of resources and FAQs on the website for There is help available. Good luck!


Send your family law and divorce questions to “Ask Carolyn…” at, or P.O. Box 9023, Greensboro, NC  27427. Please do not put identifying information in your questions. Note that the answers in “Ask Carolyn” are intended to provide general legal information, and the answers are not specific legal advice for your situation. The column also uses hypothetical questions. A subtle fact in your unique case may determine the legal advice you need in your individual case. Also, please note that you are not creating an attorney-client relationship with Carolyn J. Woodruff by writing or having your question answered by “Ask Carolyn…”