Most parents who owe child support make payments on time and in full, but there are a few bad actors who purposefully under-report their earnings or earn less than their full potential just to avoid payments. This is commonly known as involuntary impoverishment, and it can leave primary caregivers in Kentucky in financial trouble. This can be a particularly difficult scenario to resolve if the parents are in a verbal child support agreement.

Parents who find themselves in this situation should immediately file for a legally binding child support order by contacting their local Office of Child Support Enforcement. These enforcement agencies take voluntary impoverishment very seriously, and they will closely examine the financial and employment records of an ex-spouse to determine exactly how much they should pay. In some cases, they will demand that the ex-spouse should pay what they actually able to earn rather than their reported real income.

In an economy that has increasing numbers of people doing freelance or contract work, hiding incomes has become easier. If the Office of Child Support Enforcement believes that a parent is working under the table, they will look closely at their spending habits to see if they are obscuring the amount of money they are earning. Parents who actively check up on an investigation may get results sooner than those that don’t.

Primary caregivers of children who believe they are not getting the amount of child support they deserve should seek counsel from an attorney. A lawyer may be able to help a client use a variety of legal remedies to enforce an existing agreement or make new arrangements. They might also advocate for their clients during family court proceedings or mediation.