Ask A Divorce Lawyer: Can she use her boyfriend’s expenses to avoid paying her child support?

Question:

Within a week of separation, my wife moved in with her boyfriend and his son. She is using his expenses on her financial declaration to avoid paying the actual amount of child support that she will be required to pay. Does she have to show proof of her expenses?

She does not have anything in her name, and actually has no expenses other than the normal, i.e. food, clothing, etc. She works for my family and a vehicle is provided for her of which they actually pay the auto payment, taxes, insurance, maintenance, and fuel.

What do I need to do to present a solid, strong case against her and her lack of regard towards her children?

Answer:

I must preface my answer that I do not practice in South Carolina. Each state has different laws governing child support.  It is important that you contact a domestic litigation attorney licensed in South Carolina prior to taking any action.
 
Each state has child support guidelines that are unique to it. You should consult the child support guidelines of South Carolina to verify the criteria used for calculating child support. 

With that said, in most states income of the party, number of children supported, and amount of visitation are the criteria used for determining child support. 

In most states expenses are not a factor in determining child support. Income is an important consideration. Since she works for your family’s business, it should be easy to verify her income. If she has been ordered to pay an amount of child support and refuses to do so, she can be held in contempt. If she wants to petition the court to lower this amount, she must show that her income has lessened which would justify why she cannot meet the obligation that is currently in place.

What she does with her expenses has no bearing on her child support obligation. As stated earlier, you should consult the child support guidelines of South Carolina to verify the criteria used to calculate support.

 

Steven “Lee” Akins, Jr. is a Staff Attorney in the Memphis, Tennessee office of Cordell & Cordell, P.C. Mr. Akins practices exclusively in the area of domestic relations. He received his BBA in Finance from Southern Methodist University and continued his education to receive his Juris Doctor from Texas Wesleyan University.

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