Child Support Case Studies


Mother of Three Children Obtains Increased Child Support Based on Father's Self-Employment Income

The mother of three children, ages five, eight, and twelve, retained us to obtain an increase in child support from the father. The mother and father had divorced years earlier. The divorce judgment had awarded the mother sole physical custody and granted her child support based on the father's employment as a youth pastor. The father's income as a youth pastor was modest, and the mother had struggled to earn her own part-time income to keep the children clothed, fed, and housed. The mother reported to us that the father had been working for his uncle for many years in his uncle's commercial custodial service. The father worked days, evenings, and weekends supervising custodial staff, ensuring that they cleaned certain commercial premises. The mother believed that the father's income from his custodial management substantially exceeded his youth pastor income. The father, though, refused to share income information or increase support. We subpoenaed records from the uncle, obtained IRS information, documented the father's income, and notified the uncle and father that we were prepared to call and cross-examine them at the scheduled child support hearing to establish the father's income. The father then agreed to a support order based on the documentation that we had obtained from the uncle. The judge entered the order accordingly, nearly doubling the mother's child support. The key to our success was obtaining third-party records proving income.

Mother Wins Increased Child Support From Father on Wage Attribution

The mother of an infant child retained us to obtain a child support order against the child's father. The mother was a college administrator with substantial job security and income. The father was an adjunct professor who earned only a modest income for part-time, seasonal appointments and who instead lived off the income from his wealthy parents. The mother and father had not lived together and had only had a dating relationship until the mother's pregnancy, when the father ended the relationship. The father was willing to acknowledge paternity but claimed that his modest income was insufficient to contribute to child support, especially given the mother's income was several times that of the father. The mother was less concerned with the amount of child support than the fact of child support, wanting to hold the irresponsible father accountable for whatever the law provided. Our investigation showed that the father had no more actual income than the father claimed. But our approach was to convince the judge that the father was deliberately earning less than a responsible income. Our research and hearing brief showed that the law would attribute income where the parent is capable of earning it but deliberately reducing income to avoid child support. The judge agreed with our arguments at the hearing, ordering the father to pay child support based on what the father would have earned at the adjunct professor rate if the father were taking full-time adjunct assignments. Our research and argumentation were the keys to success.

Mother Gains Child Support Reduction Over Reduction in Income and Birth of Child

The mother of two children retained us to reduce her child support obligation on the first of her two children. Our client, the mother, was a business executive in a company her parents owned, making a substantial income. Her first child was with a man with whom she had lived while unmarried. That man had stayed at home to care for their child while she worked as an executive at her parents' company. Our client had moved out of the man's residence, leaving the man to care for their child, when the mother discovered the man's romantic relationship with another woman with whom the man had gotten pregnant. Our client had voluntarily paid child support, which the man had gotten entered under a consent order. Our client subsequently married, moved in with, and had a child with her present husband, who was also a business executive. Those circumstances caused our client to reduce her executive work outside the home, resulting in decreased personal income. She wanted to reduce her support obligation to the father of her first child. We prepared proofs for the hearing accordingly. At a prehearing conference, the father of our client's first child agreed to a reduction in support that cut by more than half the obligation our client had been paying.

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Attorney Joseph D. Lento has more than a decade of experience practicing Family Law in New Jersey. If you are having any uncertainties about what the future may hold for you and your family, contact our offices today. Family Law Attorney Joseph Lento will go above and beyond the needs for any client and fight for what is fair.

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