Quitting to Avoid Support
How Spouses Effect Child Support & Alimony Payments with Un/Underemployment
An example of a dirty divorce maneuver is quitting or changing a good paying job to manipulate the amount of child support required of you. As an example; you have completed enough schooling to fill the requirements of a high paying job and like the job enough that you don’t mind working overtime hours or even nights and weekends. Your spouse helps by taking up the slack at home to allow you to work this schedule which dramatically increases your earning potential.
This goes on for over a year, during which time the marriage is rapidly deteriorating and heads towards a divorce. Due to the large amount of income that has been made over the last year, child support payments are substantial. Soon after, however, you cut back all of your overtime hours and nights and weekends, cutting your income almost in half.
When considering the year that the income contributed to the amount of child support required to be paid as opposed to the anticipated income for the coming year, you file a motion with the court to lower your child support payments. While your spouse may see this as a calculated maneuver on your part, the court has to attempt to reconcile your reasons in an effort to be fair.
Reasons such as spending more time with your family, you can’t keep up the physical demands you previously did and not having the previous support at home all factor in to the judge’s decision. The court must decide if the reasons justify the reduction in child support or if they are a deliberate attempt to circumvent the legal system. If it is decided that the intent is to get out of the required payment, he/she can decide to keep the child support payments as was previously the judgment. If he/she believes that these are legitimate concerns the court has the option to lower the judgment to reflect your lower income.
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