How Will The Great Resignation Affect Your Child Support Case?
Child support obligations don’t last forever, and neither does the COVID-19 pandemic, but they both feel like an eternity. These days, it feels like so much is outside our control, and an increasing number of workers, especially those with children at home, are feeling burnt out. Conditions at work are becoming increasingly predictable, and children’s schooling is full of disruptions as students and teachers keep getting infected with COVID. If you feel like quitting your job now and deciding on your next steps later, you are not alone; millions of Americans have quit their jobs since this time last year; economists call it the Great Resignation. Joining the Great Resignation is not so simple if you are paying child support or receiving it. If the court finds that you quit your job without a good reason, it will tell you that it is not your ex-spouse’s responsibility to pick up the slack. If you are struggling in your work situation and are a parent of children who receive child support, contact a Boca Raton child support lawyer.
Can the Family Court Force You to Stay at a Job You Hate?
The Florida family courts use a complex formula to determine how much child support one former spouse should pay to the other. It depends on the children’s expenses, the number of days per year the children spend with each parent, and each parent’s income. If your ex’s income is much higher than yours, your ex might still have to pay you child support even if you have less than 187 days of parenting time per year. You have the right to petition the court to reduce the amount of child support you pay if you have suffered an involuntary reduction in income. For example, you can do this if you were laid off from your job or if you are unable to work because of health issues; you can also do this if you are still working but, because of economic conditions outside your control, you are earning less income than you used to earn.
Unless you have been diagnosed with a stress-related illness that prevents you from working, then resigning from your job is considered a voluntary reduction in income. If you quit your job, the court will base the child support on your imputed income, which is the amount that the court determines that you could earn if you chose to work. It will probably be equal to the amount you were making when you quit. If you were self-employed and you closed your business because it became insolvent, as so many wedding DJs and independently owned restaurants did during the pandemic, the court may consider your reduction in income involuntarily.
Contact Schwartz | White About Disputes Over Imputed Income
A South Florida child support lawyer can help you persuade the court that your reduction in income was involuntary. Contact Schwartz | White in Boca Raton, Florida about your case.