In most Kentucky divorces, both parents are committed to ensuring that their children are provided for. However, there are some cases in which a parent with child support obligations deliberately takes steps to reduce his or her income to avoid making payments.

One tactic that some parents will employ is that of voluntary impoverishment. These parents deliberately become unemployed, or take a low-paying job, and then tell the court that they are no longer able to make child support payments.

However, many family court judges and child support agencies are well aware of these tactics. There are several things that can be done to determine whether a parent is truly impoverished or if the financial predicament is the result of deceit or personal choices.

For example, an investigator could check a parent’s credit history or bank statements to determine whether he or she has made any major purchases recently. Doing so can indicate that the parent has financial resources that are not being used to meet support obligations.

If a parent claims to be unemployed or only holds a low-wage job, investigators could check tax records to see if the parent is currently working freelance side jobs that require the filing of 1099 income statements with the IRS. Another tactic is for a judge to determine a parent’s imputed income. To do this, a judge will examine the parent’s work history and education to determine what the parent could reasonably expect to earn in the local job market. Child support can then be set at that amount.

Parents who are worried about child support issues might benefit from working with a family law attorney. The lawyer might review the case and make recommendations that could help the parent in claiming and receiving appropriate support payments.