– from John F. in South Milwaukee, WI

Question Details:

I am currently living on part-time employment. I have three roommates who help to share expenses in our 3 bedroom Wisconsin apartment. I have a bachelors degree, and I am planning on going back to college soon for a masters degree. I will also be living off of student loans while I'm attending college. Right now, I am paying back child support through a repay order. It is set pretty low due to my employment status. My ex wife is upset and is filing motion after motion to get the repay order raised. Can the court order me to find full time employment in order to repay a higher amount?

Family Law Attorney Response:

Actually, yes they can.

Shirking” is a case where the court believes that you are intentionally making less income than what you are capable of making in order to pay less spousal support. The possibility in avoiding this finding may be based off of your intentions of returning to college. A case could be made that by returning to college, you will be able to significantly increase your earnings to a point where you could pay more later.

My advice would be to contact an attorney who specializes in family law to discuss the details, and to see what your best options are. This would be better done sooner, rather than later.

Dan Exner, J.D.

Family Law Attorney

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