Child Support

When a person voluntarily suppresses their income in bad faith, the court can calculate child support based on the income they would be earning, rather than the income they are actually earning. This means if your spouse was a lawyer and quit their job to work at McDonalds, they would pay child support based off of their former and presumably higher salary. This only applies in cases where someone has acted in bad faith. For example, if your spouse used to be a manager in a company and is laid off and can only find a job making half their salary, as long as their income has not decreased in bad faith, child support will be based off of their new salary.

You would generally show bad faith by proving that your spouse had the ability to earn more money, had a job where they were earning that salary, and left that position to avoid paying support.

Helena M. Nevicosi
Attorney with Rosen Law Firm

4101 Lake Boone Trail, Suite 500
Raleigh, North Carolina 27607
919.787.6668 main phone
919.787.6361 main fax

301 McCullough Drive
Suite 510
Charlotte, NC 28262
Main Voice: 704.307.4600
Main Fax: 704.943.0044

1829 East Franklin Street, Bldg 600
Chapel Hill, NC 27514
919.321.0780 main phone
919.787.6668 main fax

The response posted above is based upon the limited factual information made available and is not intended as a full and complete response to the question. The only reliable manner to obtain complete and adequate legal advice is to consult with an attorney, fully explain your situation, and allow the attorney sufficient opportunity to research the applicable law and facts required to render an accurate opinion. The basic information provided above is intended as a public service but a full discussion with an attorney should be undertaken before taking any action.

I have another question concerning child support. According to child support guidelines it talks about potential income and if a parent is underemployed they would figure the income based on the potential of the parent. If a parent is working in another area, meaning not what they went to school for and not what their degree is in, could that fall under the underemployed if the parent is making drastically less than what their degree would allow them to make? If this is correct, how cold this be shown that they are underemployed to get more child support money?