This is the next post in my series discussing important issues related to cases where a Las Vegas parent wishes to modify or change child support. My last post explained the process of filing for a child support modification in greater detail. In this post I will explain the importance of using the discovery process in cases where either side is lying about their existing income, expenses, or other obligations.
Discovery can be used when a Las Vegas parent suspects that the other is under reporting their income for child support purposes
There are many ways in which the discovery process is relevant in a child support dispute. The first way it can be used is when a Las Vegas parent suspects that the other has under reported their income in order to obtain a lower payment. There are many ways one can under report their income. Examples may include one working in the service industry and under reporting their tips, if one owns their own business and fails to report cash transactions, if one is a contractor or in construction and takes side jobs ‘under the table,’ etc. If a parent is purposefully reporting a low income to avoid paying a fair child support payment then it can be very frustrating for the custodial parent. Luckily one’s attorney can prove if money is being hidden.
Your attorney can subpoena the other parent’s bank records, credit card statements, utility bills, mortgage payments, and casino records in order to track their spending habits. Your attorney can also subpoena records of any stocks, bonds, or other investments your ex has made. Your counsel and their investigators can then compare these spending habits with the purported income your ex claims to make. If the numbers do not add up then an argument can be made that your ex is not reporting their full income or is attempting to hide money. A Judge may then in turn modify the existing child support payment to reflect your ex’s true income.
A Las Vegas parent may use discovery to prove that child support is being misappropriated
Child support modifications are not always requested by the payee. The payor may also use the discovery process to argue for a lower child support payment, particularly if they believe payments are not being used for the benefit of the child. If a payor believes a parent has inflated or exaggerated expenses that the child needs, the discovery process can be used to prove this suspicion. One’s attorney may subpoena the custodial parent’s pay stubs, credit card statements, other sources of income, bank records, bills, and gambling history. One’s attorney will pay special attention to costs associated with the child, the custodial parent’s entire income, and luxury expenses the parent spends on themselves. If it is found that the parent is specifically using child support money on themself that in no way benefits the child- for example, buying expensive clothing- then a Judge may be inclined to lower child support payments. A second possibility is a Judge may allow the payor to pay for certain costs directly, such as private school tuition, medical bills, or recreational lessons.
If you believe that your child support needs to be altered, it is important to hire a Las Vegas attorney who is skilled in such matters. Contact our office today for a consultation.