My Ex Just Quit His Job. What Happens to My Child Support?

It is amazing how once a child support order gets entered the job market for the person paying support takes a sudden downturn. (insert sarcasm here)  Once a child support order is entered, a lot of child support obligors decide they will simply quit their jobs or get themselves fired.  Then they try to get their child support lowered.  They play the part of the hobo in hopes of getting revenge on their ex when all they are really doing is hurting their children.  Fortunately, there is a provision in the law to try to prevent this from happening.

In Kentucky a parent can be considered voluntarily unemployed or underemployed if he or she quits their job or takes a lower paying position.  When that happens, the child support statute gives the court the authority to calculate child support based on the underemployed parent's potential income.  Potential income is determined based upon employment potential and probable earnings level based on the obligor's recent work history, occupational qualifications, and prevailing job opportunities and earnings levels in the community.

Sometimes, a child support obligor is not actually trying to avoid her child support obligation.  In recent years especially, we have seen many downturns in the economy and at times a job loss or demotion is legitimate and out of the obligor's control.  Although previous versions of the statute required some form of bad faith to be proven in order for the court to make a finding of underemployment, that requirement has been removed.  The court may make a finding of underemployment without making a finding that the obligor was intending to avoid or reduce his/her child support.  Nevertheless, most judges whom I practice in front of usually seem to be looking for some form of ill intent.

Matters can get somewhat complicated when you have an ex trying to work the system.  That makes it that much more important that you hire a skilled family law attorney.  If you have more questions, contact the Alford Law Office.

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