Will the courts lower my child support if I voluntarily chose to accept a job with lower pay?
I would like to return to the profession I worked in prior to my marriage that I really enjoyed, but it would come at a substantial decrease in pay for at least a few years.
Would the divorce court be likely to adjust my child support amount to reflect the decreased income or would it be viewed as an elective decision to take a lesser paying job?
I am only licensed to practice law in Utah, thus I can only provide you with some general divorce help for men regarding the child support laws you present in your question.
Without knowing more about your divorce decree and other facts surrounding your divorce, the court may or may not keep you at the current child support rate. You are not held hostage to your current employer.
Your state law sets forth the guidelines on this child support issue. Where I practice, the parties have a right to adjust a child support order by motion after three years from the date of its entry if:
1) upon review there is a difference of 10% or more between the amount previously ordered and the new amount of child support under the Utah child support guidelines, calculated using the appropriate child support worksheet;
2) the difference is not of a temporary nature; and
3) the amount previously ordered does not deviate from the child support guidelines.
How Much Should You Be Paying?
Additionally, the parties have a right to modify a child support order at any time by petition if there has been a substantial change in circumstances because of:
a) material changes in custody;
b) material changes in the relative wealth or assets of the parties;
c) material changes of 30% or more in the income of a parent;
d) material changes in the employment potential and ability of a parent to earn;
e) material changes in the medical needs of the child; or
f) material changes in the legal responsibilities of either parent for the support of others, and, the change in a) through f) results in a 15% or more difference between the amount previously ordered and the new amount of child support, calculated using the appropriate child support worksheet, and the difference is not of a temporary nature.
In a proceeding to modify an existing award of child support, consideration of natural or adoptive children other than those in common to both parties may be applied to mitigate an increase in the child support award, but may not be applied to justify a decrease in the award.
Again, I am unable to provide you with advice on divorce and this should not be construed as an attorney-client relationship. Consult with a local mens divorce attorney for specific divorce advice about child support laws in your jurisdiction.