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State Message Forums => Minnesota State Forum => Topic started by: Bob Better on Jul 28, 2016, 03:11:02 PM

Title: Child Support Modifications
Post by: Bob Better on Jul 28, 2016, 03:11:02 PM
My daughter's ex-husband agreed in Mediations to use what he reported to be his full time income of $2630/month for the child support calculation. We later learned that his full time income should of been reported at $3300 a month. This order was filed in the courts on 7/5/2015. 

In July of 2015 he moved from Colorado to Idaho, and did not start another job until May of 2016.  He stated that he was still "technically" employed but was not receiving a pay check.  He took a seasonal job that will not go beyond 6 months of employment and the court noted that he currently is not looking for additional or permanent employment. 

His current job pays him $12 an hour where the job he had prior to July 2015 paid him $20 an hour. The child support magistrate granted him the modification stating that there was a substantial change in the child support calculation (greater than 20%, he made the 20% by less than $3 a month).  The only reason that he did make the 20% is that my daughter took a new job with a pay raise.

Can we appeal this decision on the grounds that he voluntarily became unemployed the month the initial decision was filed, and the only substantial change was that he began working again.  It also appears that he does fit the definition of being under employed and his possible and potential income should be $20 or more an hour.  This is an individual with a college degree, has done worked in a research lab at a major university and lives in an area that was number 1 in job creation last year.   
Title: Re: Child Support Modifications
Post by: Waylon on Jul 29, 2016, 10:01:14 AM
Can we appeal this decision on the grounds that he voluntarily became unemployed the month the initial decision was filed, and the only substantial change was that he began working again.  It also appears that he does fit the definition of being under employed and his possible and potential income should be $20 or more an hour. 

You can appeal it but it's unlikely that anything will happen. Proving willful underemployment is difficult at best and you'll almost certainly spend more in attorney fees and court costs than you'll get back.

In general, going to court over child support issues is a losing proposition. It's almost never worth the time and trouble unless the person's income has increased by a significant amount. If he'd won the lottery or his income had jumped 30 or 40 percent, no problem, but proving underemployment isn't done very often these days. I know this may not be what you want to hear, but it's often the way it goes.