This is the next post in my series about a father’s request to change child support obligations because of a COVID-related reduction in income. My previous post reviewed the circumstances under which the court may consider reducing one’s support payments. Given the widespread and devastating financial impact the coronavirus pandemic has had on the economy in Las Vegas, the court will be more inclined to grant a temporary reduction in these obligations. Obligations will likely return to the originally ordered amounts once an individual’s employment or earnings have returned to pre-pandemic levels. In this post, I will review how the court will likely evaluate a father’s request for reduced support obligations. If you need assistance with a child support adjustment, contact my office today to speak with a fathers’ rights attorney.
A Las Vegas father must demonstrate that his reduced income was caused by COVID-19
Requests to modify child support obligations are formal legal proceedings. As with other legal proceedings, parties are required to submit objective evidence to the court in support of their position. Therefore, if a father desires to reduce his child support payments on the basis of reduced income as a result of the pandemic, he must be able to demonstrate that COVID-19 is actually the cause of his income loss. He cannot simply use COVID-19 as an excuse for quitting a job or remaining voluntarily unemployed. For instance, if a father has been furloughed temporarily from his casino management position due to COVID-19, he may need to provide information from his employer indicating the date of the furlough and anticipated length. If, on the other hand, a man elected to quit his job at a local grocery store and has not actively sought other employment, his request will not likely be approved. The court may view the latter as being voluntarily underemployed and require his payments to continue as ordered.
The Las Vegas court’s determination may be based on employment type
The Family Court judge’s decision about whether to grant a temporary reduction in child support may also be dependent upon the father’s employment type. For instance, a salaried employee who has been furloughed may receive half of his normal salary through unemployment benefits. Understanding that the furlough may be temporary, the court may grant a reduction in child support obligations pending his return to work, at which time his payments would return to normal levels. For workers who receive a majority of their income through tips or other types of variable employment, they may be employed but receiving a reduced amount of money for an indefinite period. In this instance, the court is more likely to grant a reduction subject to ongoing status updates to determine when the child support should increase in the future.
My office represents Las Vegas fathers in a variety of child custody and child support matters. I take pride in providing the highest levels of customer service to my clients throughout their cases. If you need assistance with a family law matter, contact my office today to speak with a lawyer.