Spouse is taking a lower paying job after filing for divorce. Which income used for support payment, her new or old salary?

Spouses job change was voluntary and
the income difference is significant.
Job change was not agreed to by other
spouse due to financial effects

Asked on July 8, 2016 under Family Law, California


B.H.F., Member, Texas State Bar / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 4 years ago | Contributor

The answer is 'it depends.'  It depends on how the judge views and how the other spouse explains the change.  Often judges will look at the last couple year's wages and set child support on that number... but the last two years will demonstrate the ability of the spouse to pay child support.  If your spouse can demonstrate that the change was necessary and the judge believes it, then the judge can set the child support on the new number.  Your counter will be that her change in positions is voluntary underemployment for which she should not be rewarded.  In the end... it's up to the judge.  To get a better feel for how your judge tends to rule... visit with more than one family law attorney in your jurisdiction to get a feel for the local preferences.

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