Child Custody, Visitation & Relocation

Earning Capacity, Not Earnings, Must Be Considered to Determine Child Support

In the family law, child support, post judgment matrimonial case of Oliver vs. Oliver, 20-2-2765, App. Div., plaintiff appeals from the Family Part order increasing his child-support obligation. The court granted defendant’s motion for an increase in child support and increased plaintiff’s child-support obligation from $115 to $181 per week. In so ruling, the court used defendant’s $30,000 annual income from her current position, rather than her prior imputed income of $68,333 per year, to calculate the support. On the appeal, plaintiff argues that the trial court erred by “fail(ing) to take into account the deliberate actions of defendant not to seek or accept work since she was fired in October of 2009”. The appellate panel agrees. The court did not make sufficient findings of fact in support of its decision and it did not specifically address whether defendant was or was not underemployed. The appellate panel reverses and remands and directs the court to make the requisite findings of fact and conclusions of law.

Reference: Case & Analysis, New Jersey Law Journal, 215.N.J.J. 437, (February 17, 2014).

Filed Under: Family Law; Child Support; Earning Capacity

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