Ask A Lawyer: Pay More Because She Quit Her Job?


When my ex-wife and I divorced we were awarded 50/50 custody and I was to provide $25/wk child support in good faith as we both made $70/k per year.

In that time I have always provided whatever is necessary for my son when he is with me. During the last year my ex has quit her job making $70K and took on a part time job which she lost as well a couple months back.

She is now taking me back to court to modify the child support because she has chosen not to go back to work full time. She has a part time job at Jimmy John’s. Based on her decision to not work full time is it my responsibility to now be forced to pay more child support even though I have my son 50% of the time?

My son is going to be 13 in May and is in the 7th grade. I know for a fact it is due to her alcoholism and I am frustrated at the fact that I don’t mind paying for whatever my son needs when he is with me however it was my ex’s choice to change her life. While we were married she worked 80+ hours a week, but maybe that was because she was having an affair with her boss. I just want to know if it is now up to me to supplement her financially.


Answer: most jurisdictions allow courts to impute income to a party that has voluntarily reduced their income.  Most courts will impute the income at the persons prior wage.

If you are concerned about their ex-spouses alcoholism consider filing for a change of physical custody.  Many jurisdictions allow the wishes of the child to be brought forward as a factor in determining a modification of custody.  For example in Georgia, a child that is 14 years of age or older can in most circumstances decide their custody and visitation schedule.  However, in Missouri the child that is capable of testifying can inform the court of their wishes, but is only one of eight factors in determining custody.  Further in Missouri mother’s alcoholism is another direct factor that the court would consider.

Please note, in most jurisdictions, actions and issues that occur prior to the last order would not be allowed to be brought up in a modification hearing, such as the affair that you mentioned, prior to the divorce.

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One comment on “Ask A Lawyer: Pay More Because She Quit Her Job?

    I have nearly settled my divorce in Florida, but my soon to be ex has a boyfriend. She is currently working full time and wants to marry him so she can quit her job. She is currently making good money working full time. I know that I will probably have to pay more money because these states are screwed up with the laws. However, I am hoping that there can be a way that I can have make it so that part (if not all) of the money can go into an account for my child so that he will have some money when he turns 18. After all she apparently will be doing fine on a financial level if she does not need the money from her current employer.

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