Q: My fiancé’s ex wife is growing pot illegally and not reporting earnings to IRS in Oregon. We are paying child support…
He has 2 kids; one lives with us full time and the other stayed with his mother and just turned 18. He moved out and is still in HS living with friend in Portland. The mother grows pot illegally in southern Oregon and the younger son living with us doesn’t want to be there. She was unemployed when custody and child support was determined and now works full time and a make 80-100k from this pot and not reporting it to IRS. We are still paying child support. Is there anything we can do to bring the illegal pot grow and money they are earning. She’s buying houses and boats and motor homes but still getting child support from us!
A: A court has authority to modify a child support order when there has been a substantial change in economic circumstances that was not anticipated at the time of the original judgment. To determine one's income, the court considers both actual and potential income. “Actual income” means a parent's gross earnings and income from any source, even if not reported as taxable income. Child support obligations should reflect all earnings, income and resources of each parent. If mother is living an extravagant lifestyle but reporting minimal or no income, the court can consider her resources, including her acquisition of real property and valuable personal property, in determining the appropriate amount of support. That said, don't expect this to be a precise calculation that takes into account all of the cash she may be earning. You should contact an attorney to determine the best approach for establishing mother's actual and potential income so that you can get a court to modify the child support order.
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