I pay child support to my ex-wife and she recently voluntarily took a new job that pays a lower salary.
Am I obligated to adjust child support to her since she chose to take the pay cut?
I do not practice law in your state. Therefore, I cannot inform you as to the specific laws of your state and can only provide you with general tips on your situation.
In most states, child support is based upon the incomes of the parties at the time that support is being calculated and then the amount of placement time each parent has with the child is also a component of the equation.
In Wisconsin, where I practice law, parents can agree to modify child support based upon changes in their incomes. However, in the event there is not an agreement, because, for example, one parent disagrees with how the other parent reduced his or her income, then child support can only be changed by a court order.
In Wisconsin, if the court feels that a parent unreasonable reduced his or her income, or is under-employed or unreasonably unemployed, then the court can “impute” that parent income. Imputing income means that instead of the court using the parent’s actual income to calculate child support, the court uses the amount they believe the parent should be earning.
It’s likely that your state has similar rules and standards to Wisconsin, but you will want to consult with a domestic litigation attorney in your area to learn about all of your potential options and what your state’s law requires.