You have learned that your husband quit his job, and you are worried about child support payments. You are not alone. This is a common problem faced by divorced women with children and child support orders.
There are steps you can take if you believe your ex-husband is avoiding employment in order to avoid making child support payments. The Somerville family law firm of Lyons & Associates can explain the options available to you and help you decide how best to proceed.
New Jersey law declares that child support amounts should be calculated based on a method called “income shares.” This means that both parents’ incomes are taken into consideration when calculating the proper amount of child support. Usually, if a parent’s income decreases after the child support order is set, that parent can apply for a modification to take into consideration his decreased ability to pay.
However, in certain situations, a noncustodial parent may actively avoid employment—or work for a lower wage—in order to avoid paying child support. If the noncustodial parent receives unemployment or other benefits, child support payments will be withheld from those checks. If the noncustodial parent does not work and does not receive unemployment benefits, the custodial parent still has at least one option.
If you believe you can prove that your ex is willfully avoiding employment in order to avoid paying support, you can file a motion with the court asking the court to calculate child support based on “potential income.” In this type of proceeding, the court may require your ex to go through a vocational analysis and provide proof that he has been looking unsuccessfully for work. If he cannot show evidence of an active job search, the court may issue an order for child support based on how much he could be earning if he was employed. When doing the analysis, Courts will often look to the average earnings of professionals in similar employment to determine what your ex-spouse can earn.
Learn more at the New Jersey Child Support website.
Contact the New Jersey Child Support Lawyers at Lyons & Associates Today
At Lyons & Associates, we bring a high level of personalized service and attention to each of our clients, in every family law case we handle. To schedule an appointment to discuss divorce and child support payments from your ex, contact us online or call our office at 908-575-9777.