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Judge ordered to evaluate support payments after job change

Minnesota parents paying child support are likely aware that judicial directives can change the amount they owe. A couple in Pennsylvania is experiencing just such a scenario after a judge was ordered to recalculate child support payments after their divorce. It appears that the father in the case took a lower-paying job, but the judge did not consider the man's intent behind changing employment when evaluating child support requirements.

Official reports show that the couple divorced seven years after their 2002 marriage; their son was born in 2005. The couple amicably agreed to a child support settlement, but a recent complaint from the boy's mother sparked a legal investigation. The father had made a motion to modify his existing custody and support agreement, which gives him custody only on his days off from work. The man is employed by the state Department of Corrections.

The boy's father took a local position in April 2012 in order to reduce his commute to work and ostensibly spend more time with his son. He was forced to accept a demotion because higher positions were unavailable in the local township. At issue is the dispute over whether the man should be paying support based on his previous income or the new, lower value; parents are prevented from taking lower-paying jobs in order to circumvent support costs.

Higher-ups ruled that the judge in the case failed to consider the man's rationale behind taking the lower-paying job. The judge was accused of abusing his power by failing to take the man's intent into account when making the support decisions. The court ordered the lower judge to recalculate the man's support after considering his rationale behind changing jobs.

If you have recently changed your employment situation, consider discussing your child support agreement with your family attorney. These professionals can help you understand more about your rights and responsibilities with regards to your divorce and child custody settlements.

Source:  sharonherald.com, "Judge told to recalculate child support payments" Joe Pinchot, May. 28, 2013

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