Does Entrepreneurship Count As Being Voluntarily Underemployed?
Even in the best-case scenario, it takes a while before a new small business becomes profitable. Sometimes a business owner will, in the same breath, project optimism about the future of the new business and ask you for a loan to help get through the next few weeks. The financial instability associated with entrepreneurship has been a contributing factor to plenty of divorces and a source of frustration in many co-parenting relationships, where one parent’s self-employment income is not enough to meet court-ordered child support obligations. The court has the right to set a child support amount based on the money the parent can and should earn instead of how much he or she actually earns. In other words, it can tell your ex that enough is enough with the dream of entrepreneurship, and it is time to get a real job. A Birmingham child support lawyer can help you if your ex-spouse is letting an as yet unprofitable business project get in the way of child support obligations.
Voluntarily Underemployed or Doing Your Best in Tough Economic Times?
In 2001, the parents of a three-year-old boy divorced in Alabama; both parents remarried soon after. At the time of the divorce, the father worked for a concrete mixing company, but it went out of business shortly after Hurricane Katrina devastated Alabama’s Gulf Coast in 2005. His next job was opening his own trucking company that transported concrete, but that went out of business in 2008. After determining that there were no more available opportunities in the concrete industry, the father moved to Mississippi and opened a liquor store, using capital given to him by his mother, wife, and mother-in-law.
By 2015, when the child was a senior in high school and the parents went back to court over the father’s request to reduce his child support amount, the father’s income was about a third of what it had been at the time of the divorce. The father said that he had not looked for work elsewhere because he was content with what he did. The court imputed income to him and refused to reduce his child support obligations, since, in seven years, he had never submitted a resume or job application. The father appealed this decision several times, but the court always maintained its decision to impute income to him. Therefore, he continued making payments on overdue child support until long after the child had reached adulthood.
The bottom line is that the court cannot stop you from practicing an occupation that you enjoy even if it doesn’t pay well. It can, however, put you in a financial position where, to continue pursuing your dream, you also need to take on gigs or borrow money from family members.
Contact Peeples Law About Child Support Cases Involving Imputed Income
A Birmingham family law attorney can help you if your ex-spouse is insisting on stay at a job that does not pay very much. Contact Peeples Law today to schedule a consultation.