Coble v. Coble, No. 70

Docket NºNo. 70
Citation300 N.C. 708, 268 S.E.2d 185
Case DateJuly 15, 1980
CourtUnited States State Supreme Court of North Carolina

Page 185

268 S.E.2d 185
300 N.C. 708
Larry Eugene COBLE
v.
Cheryl Banks COBLE (Klassette).
No. 70.
Supreme Court of North Carolina.
July 15, 1980.

Levine, Goodman & Pawlowski by Paul L. Pawlowski, Charlotte, for plaintiff appellee.

Bryant, Hicks & Sentelle by Richard A. Elkins, Charlotte, for defendant appellant.

EXUM, Justice.

In this appeal from an order requiring her to provide partial child support, defendant challenges the trial court's "finding of fact" that she is capable of contributing support payments and its conclusion of law that plaintiff is entitled to contribution from her. We hold that the trial court's order is not supported by sufficient findings of fact and remand the cause for further proceedings.

[300 N.C. 710] Plaintiff Larry Coble and defendant Cheryl Banks Coble (Klassette) were married on 6 September 1969. They lived together as husband and wife until their separation on 9 June 1976. Pursuant to the terms of a separation agreement, plaintiff retained custody of the two minor children born of the marriage. After a decree of absolute divorce was entered on 28 March 1978, plaintiff filed a motion in the cause seeking custody of the minor children and praying for an award of child support from defendant.

At the hearing on the motion before Judge Brown, plaintiff's testimony, together with his "affidavit of financial standing," indicated that his net monthly income was $825.00 and his average monthly expenses, including those in support of his minor children, were in excess of $1,000.00. Evidence offered by defendant tended to show that she was currently employed at a wage of $3.97 per hour on a 40-hour week, plus

Page 188

time-and-a-half for overtime which totaled as much as 32 hours per week. During the parties' separation, she bought the children clothes, shoes, toys, and other items which they needed as she was able to provide them. Defendant's "affidavit of financial standing" indicated that her monthly personal living expenses averaged $510.00.

In its order of 21 December 1978, the trial court awarded custody of the minor children to plaintiff, subject to defendant's visitation privileges. The court also made certain findings of fact regarding the financial standing of the parties as follows:

"12. Defendant has an average monthly net income of approximately . . . $483.32, plus additional sums through her overtime wages. The additional amounts of income she derives from said overtime employment is not determinable at this time. Defendant's living expenses are approximately $510.00 per month.

"The Plaintiff's average net monthly income is approximately $825.00 and the average monthly financial needs of said minor children are approximately $432.00.

"16. Plaintiff is in need of financial assistance from the Defendant for the partial support and maintenance of said children. Defendant is an able-bodied person and is capable of providing child support as herein ordered."

[300 N.C. 711] Based upon these findings of fact, Judge Brown concluded as a matter of law that plaintiff was entitled to an award of child support. Defendant was ordered to contribute $180.00 per month toward the partial support of the minor children until their majority.

At the outset, we note our agreement with the Court of Appeals that G.S. 50-13.4(b) permits an order whereby both parents, although separated from the bonds of matrimony, are obligated to contribute to the support of their minor children. That statute provides in pertinent part:

"In the absence of pleading and proof that circumstances of the case otherwise warrant, the father, the mother, or any person, agency, organization or institution standing in loco parentis shall be liable, in that order, for the support of a minor child. Such other circumstances may include, but shall not be limited to, the relative ability of all of the abovementioned parties to provide support or the inability of one or more of them to provide support, and the needs of the estate of the child. . . . "

Under this provision, in the absence of circumstances that "otherwise warrant," the father has the primary duty of providing child support. The mother's duty is secondary. Tidwell v. Booker, 290 N.C. 98, 225 S.E.2d 816 (1976). However, the statute should be read in conjunction with its companion section,...

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263 practice notes
  • In re Treatment and Care of Luckabaugh, No. 25503.
    • United States
    • United States State Supreme Court of South Carolina
    • July 22, 2002
    ...by the pleadings and to allow the appellate courts to perform their proper function in the judicial system. 351 S.C. 133 Coble v. Coble, 300 N.C. 708, 712, 268 S.E.2d 185, 189 (N.C. 1980) (internal citations omitted) (applying North Carolina's equivalent of our Rule 52(a), SCRCP); see also ......
  • In re G.B., No. 438A19
    • United States
    • North Carolina United States State Supreme Court of North Carolina
    • April 16, 2021
    ...trial court's conclusion that termination was appropriate); In re N.D.A. , 373 N.C. 71, 84, 833 S.E.2d 768 (2019) (same); Coble v. Coble , 300 N.C. 708, 714–15, 268 S.E.2d 185 (1980) (vacating and remanding for further evidentiary findings where findings did not establish that plaintiff was......
  • Hampton v. Cumberland Cnty., No. COA16-704
    • United States
    • North Carolina Court of Appeal of North Carolina (US)
    • December 5, 2017
    ...limited jurisdiction to determine issues of law, rather than issues of fact, remand is the proper disposition. See, e.g., Coble v. Coble , 300 N.C. 708, 714, 268 S.E.2d 185, 190 (1980) ("Our decision to remand this case for further evidentiary findings is not the result of an obeisance to m......
  • Flippin v. Jarrell, No. 102
    • United States
    • North Carolina United States State Supreme Court of North Carolina
    • October 7, 1980
    ...both the authority and the duty to order that the mother contribute supplementary support to the degree that she is able." Coble v. Coble, 300 N.C. 708, 268 S.E.2d 185 Since parental claims for both loss of services and medical expenses are based upon the parental support obligation, and si......
  • Request a trial to view additional results
266 cases
  • In re Treatment and Care of Luckabaugh, No. 25503.
    • United States
    • United States State Supreme Court of South Carolina
    • July 22, 2002
    ...by the pleadings and to allow the appellate courts to perform their proper function in the judicial system. 351 S.C. 133 Coble v. Coble, 300 N.C. 708, 712, 268 S.E.2d 185, 189 (N.C. 1980) (internal citations omitted) (applying North Carolina's equivalent of our Rule 52(a), SCRCP); see also ......
  • In re G.B., No. 438A19
    • United States
    • North Carolina United States State Supreme Court of North Carolina
    • April 16, 2021
    ...trial court's conclusion that termination was appropriate); In re N.D.A. , 373 N.C. 71, 84, 833 S.E.2d 768 (2019) (same); Coble v. Coble , 300 N.C. 708, 714–15, 268 S.E.2d 185 (1980) (vacating and remanding for further evidentiary findings where findings did not establish that plaintiff was......
  • Hampton v. Cumberland Cnty., No. COA16-704
    • United States
    • North Carolina Court of Appeal of North Carolina (US)
    • December 5, 2017
    ...limited jurisdiction to determine issues of law, rather than issues of fact, remand is the proper disposition. See, e.g., Coble v. Coble , 300 N.C. 708, 714, 268 S.E.2d 185, 190 (1980) ("Our decision to remand this case for further evidentiary findings is not the result of an obeisance to m......
  • Flippin v. Jarrell, No. 102
    • United States
    • North Carolina United States State Supreme Court of North Carolina
    • October 7, 1980
    ...both the authority and the duty to order that the mother contribute supplementary support to the degree that she is able." Coble v. Coble, 300 N.C. 708, 268 S.E.2d 185 Since parental claims for both loss of services and medical expenses are based upon the parental support obligation, and si......
  • Request a trial to view additional results

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