Quitting Job to Avoid Paying Alimony or Child Support

UPDATED: Jul 15, 2023Fact Checked

Get Legal Help Today

Find the right lawyer for your legal issue.

secured lock Secured with SHA-256 Encryption

Jeffrey Johnson

Insurance Lawyer

Jeffrey Johnson is a legal writer with a focus on personal injury. He has worked on personal injury and sovereign immunity litigation in addition to experience in family, estate, and criminal law. He earned a J.D. from the University of Baltimore and has worked in legal offices and non-profits in Maryland, Texas, and North Carolina. He has also earned an MFA in screenwriting from Chapman Univer...

Insurance Lawyer

Mary Martin

Published Legal Expert

Mary Martin has been a legal writer and editor for over 20 years, responsible for ensuring that content is straightforward, correct, and helpful for the consumer. In addition, she worked on writing monthly newsletter columns for media, lawyers, and consumers. Ms. Martin also has experience with internal staff and HR operations. Mary was employed for almost 30 years by the nationwide legal publi...

Published Legal Expert

UPDATED: Jul 15, 2023

Advertiser Disclosure

It’s all about you. We want to help you make the right legal decisions.

We strive to help you make confident insurance and legal decisions. Finding trusted and reliable insurance quotes and legal advice should be easy. This doesn’t influence our content. Our opinions are our own.

Editorial Guidelines: We are a free online resource for anyone interested in learning more about legal topics and insurance. Our goal is to be an objective, third-party resource for everything legal and insurance related. We update our site regularly, and all content is reviewed by experts.

UPDATED: Jul 15, 2023Fact Checked

There is no single or easy answer, since asset distribution, alimony, child support and other forms of family support are determined based on the totality of each marriage’s unique individual circumstances. Before doing anything, if you are aware that you will’or least likely will’file divorce, you should consult with a family or matrimonial law attorney (also known as a divorce attorney), who can advise you as to how best to protect your and your children’s rights.

That said, as a general matter, what you propose is potentially very risky. Some forms of law, such as contractual law, tend to be very’black letter.’ That means that they look to exactly what was promised or said, or what the circumstances are, without much regard to issues of fairness.

However, family law is NOT like that. In family law, issues of fairness’also known as’equitable issues”loom very large. Family law courts look not just at the current situation of the soon-to-be ex-spouses, but also at how and why they ended up in those circumstances.

If someone lost his or her job for’legitimate’ reasons’a restructuring, layoff, or reduction in force, for example, or had to give it up for blameless reason, such as to care for a sick child or parent, or due to his or her own health issues, then courts may be sympathetic and would weigh that spouse’s need in the balance when deciding on distributions and support.

However, if someone leaves a viable job shortly before filing for divorce in what is’or can be readily painted as’a transparent attempt to increase the support he or she would receive, courts would NOT look at that sympathetically. It would rather be seen as not just an attempted fraud on the other spouse, but even almost a fraud on the courts themselves. Not only is it highly unlikely that it would result in enhanced support, but it could be weighed against that person in ordering support, distribution of assets, or even potentially in deciding on child custody.

Consult with a family or matrimonial lawyer before doing anything. A general rule, though, is this: if YOU would feel and could easily argue that something is unfair, there’s a good chance the other side and the court will feel the same way.

Case Studies: Quitting Job to Avoid Paying Alimony or Child Support

Case Study 1: John’s Manipulative Attempt

John, facing divorce, deliberately quit his high-paying job to lower support payments. The court saw through his actions and deemed them fraudulent. As a consequence, John faced unfavorable decisions regarding asset distribution, support obligations, and even child custody.

Case Study 2: Lisa’s Genuine Job Loss

Lisa, in the process of divorce, experienced a genuine job loss due to company restructuring. Seeking legal advice, she discovered that her situation would be considered fairly in court. Presenting her case effectively led to a reasonable assessment of support obligations and the division of assets.

Case Study 3: Mark’s Unfair Scheme

Mark, unhappy about significant alimony and child support, devised a plan to evade financial responsibilities. He quit his well-paying job and began working under the table for untraceable cash payments. However, the family court uncovered his deceptive actions, resulting in severe consequences such as increased support payments, potential penalties, and damage to his reputation.

Get Legal Help Today

Find the right lawyer for your legal issue.

secured lock Secured with SHA-256 Encryption

Jeffrey Johnson

Insurance Lawyer

Jeffrey Johnson is a legal writer with a focus on personal injury. He has worked on personal injury and sovereign immunity litigation in addition to experience in family, estate, and criminal law. He earned a J.D. from the University of Baltimore and has worked in legal offices and non-profits in Maryland, Texas, and North Carolina. He has also earned an MFA in screenwriting from Chapman Univer...

Insurance Lawyer

Mary Martin

Published Legal Expert

Mary Martin has been a legal writer and editor for over 20 years, responsible for ensuring that content is straightforward, correct, and helpful for the consumer. In addition, she worked on writing monthly newsletter columns for media, lawyers, and consumers. Ms. Martin also has experience with internal staff and HR operations. Mary was employed for almost 30 years by the nationwide legal publi...

Published Legal Expert

Editorial Guidelines: We are a free online resource for anyone interested in learning more about legal topics and insurance. Our goal is to be an objective, third-party resource for everything legal and insurance related. We update our site regularly, and all content is reviewed by experts.

Get Legal Help Today

Find the right lawyer for your legal issue.

secured lock Secured with SHA-256 Encryption