As the economy failed several years ago, many parents found themselves without employment and facing difficulty supporting their family. While many judges will take such events into consideration when determining child support payments, many people in Florida wonder what happens when a parent is deliberately unemployed in an attempt to avoid child support payments. A judge in one state has recently ruled that the ex-husband of a former state senator must pay child support despite his unemployment.
A judge ordered that the man must pay $2,274 in child support for his three children despite the man’s claim that he only earns unemployment benefits in the amount of $1,716 a month. The man appealed the ruling to his state’s Supreme Court, explaining that his company had moved out-of-state, and he had been unable to find employment. The Supreme Court, however, upheld the original ruling that the man had not shown that he was unable to find employment, and that he had, in fact, chosen to be underemployed.
The man claims that he had been a stay-at-home dad to his children during the almost two-year period his wife served as a state senator. His marriage fell apart, according to papers filed with the court, when he discovered that his ex-wife was having an affair. In addition to his lack of employment, the man also claimed he should not be responsible for child support payments because his former wife is living with someone else.
When making decisions regarding child support, Florida judges must consider the best interests of the children at the heart of the case. In many cases, a drastic change of circumstance can influence such decisions. Although it is often difficult for parents to separate their personal animosity aside as they make decisions regarding their children’s well-being, it is important to do so to ensure all of the children’s needs are met.
Source: Las Vegas Sun, Ex-husband must pay child support to former Sen. Halseth, Cy Ryan, March 17, 2014