Unfortunately, parents do not always provide needed support for their children following a divorce. It may be that they are having difficulty making ends meet, but sometimes it is an intentional effort to escape financial responsibility. Fortunately, the courts are getting wise to the shenanigans that some parents pull so that the best interests of the children can continue to be served.
In a recent case not all that unusual when it comes to a divorced parent attempting to shirk their child support responsibilities, a so-called, penniless father’s penchant for luxury goods resulted in an order to pay child support.
In Benzeroual v. Issa and Farag, the divorced husband claimed his only income was from disability, which was not enough to create a child support obligation. However, the wife reported that during their relationship, she and the husband lead a lavish lifestyle including fast cars, travel and the like.
According to the wife, the husband avoided putting anything in his own name so he could continue to draw disability, all the while drawing a hefty allowance from others. In fact their marital home was still in an ex-girlfriends name and there were various corporations in others’ names, including a brother, which the husband had control over so he could tap funds as needed.
Of course the husband begged to differ, saying he was a simple man in poor health. He downplayed his access to money from others and persistently refused or failed to provide financial disclosure, leaving the court with little information to go on.
However, after looking at the overall picture, the judge ruled in favor of the wife’s request for imputed income saying that lifestyle is “evidence from which an inference may be drawn that the payer has undisclosed income that may be imputed for the purpose of determining child support.”
Summing up the situation succinctly, the Justice exclaimed, “If you claim you’re so poor you can’t afford a penny of child support, best not to be driving a red Ferrari convertible. In addition to two Mercedes-Benz….”
See the full article in the Financial Post here. If you have concerns regarding Illinois child support, child custody (parenting time or parenting responsibility), or another family law issue, contact the Libertyville, Illinois Family Law Offices of Schlesinger & Strauss LLC for assistance today.
Source: Financial Post, “In family court, there’s no hiding the Ferrari,” by Laurie H. Pawlitza, November 28, 2017.