– from Barbara D. in Franklin, WI

Question Details:

I am a divorced mother of two children. My ex-husband works as a construction laborer. He is 42 years old and makes minimum wage, $7.25 an hour. I feel that he should be making much more than this. He has been ordered to pay $180 a month, but that is not enough to cover our cable bill. Can I take him back to court for shirking so that he could be ordered to pay more support?

Family Law Attorney Response:

For a court to find an individual to be shirking their responsibilities in order to pay less spousal support, several factors are usually called into play. This situation may consider how long he has been a laborer, if he recently changed professions from a higher paying job, and his level of education.

I would need to know more details, but based on what you have said it is possible that he may not be found shirking his responsibilities.

Like in the case of Edwards v. Edwards, 97 Wis. 2d 111, 293 N.W.2d 160 (1980), it was found that the husband was not doing the best he could to make money, and worked hard in an attempt to do so. In this example, the husband was not found to be shirking.

My advice would be to consult an experienced family law attorney and provide all of the details surrounding the case. Something may be found in the details that could lead to a different outcome.

Dan Exner, J.D.

Family Law Attorney

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