Dear Carolyn,

Hi, I live in Louisiana. I feel that I have been overcharged for years for child support because I am the noncustodial parent. The custodial parent only shows up to court in North Carolina and states she doesn’t work, and the court doesn’t ask for proof. I have since found out she is and has been a licensed cosmetologist for over 10 years. How can I get the judge to order her to bring her tax returns to prove her real income? I have Facebook posts that clearly show her performing hairdressing styles and posting that she will be raising her prices in 2021. Shouldn’t this be enough proof that she has committed fraud by lying, stating she has been unemployed? Shouldn’t the judge recalculate all of the years that I was overcharged? Please help!


Carolyn Answers,

First, thanks for reading Ask Carolyn from Louisiana. Immediately, file a motion to reduce child support based upon changed circumstances to correct the child support in the future. The court should address ongoing child support from the date of the motion you file. The retroactive adjustment would have to be under Rule 60 of the North Carolina Rules of Civil Procedure. Typically, Rule 60 motions can address that orders be amended for up to a year, but a fraud exception gives the court some latitude.

Proving the fraud is perhaps not so easy. I think you can prove she is working with the Facebook posts, but proving how much she makes is another story. She may be lying on her tax returns if her clients are mostly cash. Is she working in a salon with a calendar? I frequently find that the best way to determine hairdresser income is to look at last year’s bookings on the salon calendar. Then multiply by the price of the service. Don’t forget the tips. Most salons post an expected tip policy such as 15 percent. Be prepared to show her income because I’ll bet she won’t tell you quickly. She has lied to the court, so she may also lie to the IRS.


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…” “Ask Carolyn…” will be a regular column, but not necessarily weekly.