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Spouses make this threat all the time: “If you take me to Support Court to make me pay more, I’ll quit and you’ll get nothing!” First, it’s 99.99% of the time just a bluff. Your spouse would rather have some income than none at all. Really? Doing without gas money? Food? Beers with friends? VERY unlikely.

Second, if you file for support, especially child support, and the Judge is informed that your spouse quit working to avoid a legal obligation, what do you think would happen to your spouse? Contempt of Court is likely with jail time and would probably last until your spouse went back to work.

Some spouses work “under the table” to avoid paying support. File for support anyway. Do you think the Judge has never heard of this before? There is NOTHING the Judge has never heard. In one such “under-the-table” case, the Court told the spouse, “OK, you have no job right now? Be back in the courtroom in 30 days with written, notarized proof that you’ve been on 45 job interviews.” Guess what happened. That supposedly unemployed spouse began making support payments and in the correct amount. In more difficult cases, you may need a lawyer who would subpoena your spouse’s employer and/or people for whom your spouse did work. Those people will tell your spouse that something must be done to cancel the need for them to go to Court and being exposed for, among other possible criminal issues, failing to pay any withholding taxes, or your spouse will lose his job. That puts your spouse between a rock and a hard place, does it not? 

As you can see, if a spouse has an income, it is possible for you to collect the correct amount of spousal and/or child support and it begins with you calling your spouse’s bluff.