Too often, when non-custodial parents believe they are paying too much child support, they may look at a job loss as a time when they can reset the amount in their favor. Unfortunately this is often done to “punish” their ex-spouse for the divorce. What starts out as a hardship reduction often continues indefinitely. This type of action is often referred to as “intentional underemployment” and it is rampant in a bad economy.
If you are entitled to receive child support and your ex-spouse is not diligently looking for suitable work, then the court has the power to base the support order on their “earning capacity” instead of their present income. To be fair, the court will not impute potential income unless the support-obligated parent is able to go out and work. While the court may not order an injured worker to get a job, it will require the support to be paid from unemployment benefits, disability or workers’ compensation.
If your support order is within the state of Colorado, it pays to work with a Colorado Springs child support attorney can help you make a case for using your ex-spouses’ earning capacity. Evidence will be presented at a hearing that indicates the length of unemployment, lack of action taken to find a job, and number of unpaid support payments. In many cases, the court will ask the non-paying parent to either be working or provide proof of their active job search by the time of the next court appearance.