Can the court order my ex to get a job to lower child support?

mens divorce lawyer William BackerQuestion:

How do child support laws work when one party refuses to work?

My ex-wife voluntarily works a part-time job and supplements her income with my child support payments. She is fully capable of gaining full-time employment.

Could the court order her to work full time to meet her financial obligations so I don’t have to pay so much child support?

Answer:

I do not practice in your state so I cannot inform you as to the specific laws. This information is general in nature.

In Missouri where I practice, as in most states, a child support amount is calculated in a very formulaic manner and the calculations are based upon three main factors: the respective incomes of each of the parents, the number of children involved, and the custody or visitation schedule, i.e., the percent of time each party has custody of the children. The court then reviews the calculated amount in light of all of the relevant circumstances in the case.

The court is not going to order your wife to work, as that is a personal choice on her part. However, in determining your ex-wife’s income for child support purposes, the court is allowed to impute additional income to her based on her potential income.

The court will consider her work history, experience, education, qualifications, availability of work in the community where she lives, etc. So, the court may consider that she is capable of working full-time and may decide to calculate child support as if she were working full-time.

You should consult with an attorney that is licensed to practice in your state and is experienced in domestic litigation matters, specifically including child support issues.

Cordell & Cordell has men’s divorce lawyers located nationwide. I urge you to contact one as I do not know all the details of your case and thus cannot provide you with specific legal advice.

To schedule an appointment with a Cordell & Cordell attorney, including William F. Backer, an Associate Attorney in the Arnold, Missouri office, contact Cordell & Cordell.

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2 comments on “Can the court order my ex to get a job to lower child support?

    Court ordered work
    If the court orders the non-custodial parent to supply a certain amount of financial support for “the best interests of the children”, why would the court not insure that the custodial parent also meet similar obligations. I, as the non-custodial parent, was ordered to work, why not the custodial parent as well. It is not in the children’s best interest for the custodial parent to be under-employed, is it?

    Court-ordered work
    If the court orders the non-custodial parent to supply a certain amount of financial support for “the best interests of the children”, why would the court not insure that the custodial parent also meet similar obligations. I, as the non-custodial parent, was ordered to work, why not the custodial parent as well. It is not in the children’s best interest for the custodial parent to be under-employed, is it?

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