Who Gets the Pay Raise?

October 18, 2007 – 9:15 am

An issue that has troubled the law for many years is retroactive child support. The problem arises when a parent paying child support gets an increase in their pay. You would think if income goes up, child support would automatically go up as well. For many years however trying to get child support increased retroactively was not easy.

For example, if a pay raise was kept secret by the paying parent, the application to increase child support might occur years after the increase actually happened. Not surprisingly Courts were concerned about awarding a large lump sum for retroactive support, years after the fact, particularly if the child was an adult by the time the application was made.

The winds of change are starting to blow however. Our Courts are beginning to place a greater emphasis on the paying parent having to disclose increases in income, when such increases occur. It is certainly not an absolute requirement, yet, but the trend seems clear. If you are required to pay child support, and you receive an increase in your income, it makes sense to disclose that increase and adjust the amount you are paying under the Child Support Guidelines. A failure to do so, could risk a large lump sum award, years later.

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