Franklin v. Franklin
A party who provides testimony from a human resources employee that he was not at fault when he was forced to resign may establish a substantial change in circumstances, for purposes of support payments. The parties married in September 1990 and divorced in May 2006. The parties signed a separation contract. At the time of dissolution, the court ordered the husband to pay child support of $3,104 per month and alimony of $2,000 per month for five years and then alimony of $1,083 per month up to 10 years. In April 2011, the husband lost his job. The wife filed a motion to find the husband in contempt of court, because he owed child support and alimony. The court credited the testimony of a human resources employee at the husband's former company that the husband was forced to resign and was not at fault. The husband embarked on substantial efforts to find another job. The court denied the wife's motion for contempt. The husband did not willfully violate a clear order. It was unreasonable of the wife to insist on full payment of child support and alimony, when the husband remained unemployed and the wife was underemployed. The court found that the husband established a substantial change in circumstances and ordered the husband to pay child support of $1,000 per month and alimony of $1,000 per month, retroactive to June 1, 2011.