I have been going through a divorce for over 2 years now. Ex has a masters degree and refuses to work and has told me herself she does not want to work. I am having a hard time making ends meet and it would help a lot if she works. Can a judge order her to work? We have joint custody of our two kids 6 and 2.
You have the right to ask the court to set support based on your former spouses ability to earn, that is called imputing income to her. To maximize your potential for the court to impute income to your former spouse, you should consider asking the court to order a vocational evaluation of your wife. There is a cost to retaining such an expert to perform the evaluation, but the reduction in support may make the evaluation cost effective. The expert will conduct tests and interviews with your ex, as well as research the job market for available jobs for which your wife could qualify, prepare a report and testify in court.
The court must also find that it is in the children's best interest that your ex work, but since you share custody that seems like a reasonable finding for the court to make.
If you can not afford an expert, the alternative is to file for a support hearing and request the court advise your wife of her financial obligation to herself and the children, and make an order requiring her to seek employment. If she fails to comply with the courts order you would be in a position to request that the court make an order reducing your support . I recommend you see an experienced family law attorney to represent you on this issue. I hope this helps.
Child support is a payment made from one parent to another parent (usually from non-custodial to custodial), to help ensure the child's financial needs are met.
Either parent can request modification of a child support order due to changes in circumstances, such as different income or major changes in the child's needs.
Written by attorney Jeffrey Miller
Child Support for Children Over 18 Years Old in Massachusetts What is Child Support? Child support is intended to minimize the economic impact on the Childs standard of living, not the... more