Dear Carolyn:

I lost my job. I filed a motion for reduction of my child support, as my unemployment check is inadequate to allow me to live and to pay the ordered amount of child support. I am doing my best, but my best is not enough income right now. When will my motion be heard? I cannot hang on much longer, as my cash reserves are low.

Will I be safe at the Greensboro courthouse? I also worry about COVID-19 and public gatherings.


Carolyn Answers:

Make sure you have filed an appropriate calendar request to have your motion heard. I am optimistic you will receive a hearing in the near future.

In Guilford County, because of the diligent work of our Honorable Chief District Court Judge Teresa Vincent, the Honorable Michelle Fletcher and the Honorable Susan Burch, we are making great strides in our family law courtrooms. These three able jurists did a demonstration of court on Zoom earlier this week for the Guilford Family Law Bar. The Family Law Bar overwhelmingly endorsed remote participation to move family cases along. On June 1, 2020, a massive civil and family law calendar call will be held with attorneys attending via Zoom. The attorneys are being trained on Zoom May 22 for remote hearings. Certain hearings can also be done remotely with Zoom (and some with WebEx). I am encouraged that COVID-19 delays will be defeated with diligent efforts, such as the ones by our jurists in Guilford County.

Social distancing is required at both Guilford County courthouses. Tape and visible markers are being placed in all public areas. The capacity of the courtrooms will be spaced for social distancing. Hand sanitizer will at a minimum be at entries and exits to the courthouse. There will be several cleanings per day in high touch areas like handrails. Masks and gloves are encouraged. See Chief Justice Cheri Beasley’s Order of May 21, 2020 for details at North Carolina Judicial Branch at Chief Justice Beasley is Chief of the North Carolina Supreme Court.


Send your questions on family law and divorce matters 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…”