Reilly v. Northrop

[FAMILY LAW]

In Reilly v. Northrop,[1] the supreme court held that a parent could be voluntarily underemployed when more lucrative employment could be found outside the parent’s trained field.[2] In 2003, Reilly and Vinnette had a child, while Reilly was working in Alaska as a drilling engineer.[3] In 2004, Reilly moved to Montana but was unable to obtain comparable employment and subsequently had a second child who, like his first child, had special needs.[4] On appeal, Reilly argued that his child support payments should based on his current income and, consequently, should be reduced.[5] The supreme court affirmed the lower court’s decision, reasoning that underemployment could be considered voluntary even if it was the result of failed good faith attempts to gain sufficient employment.[6] Thus, the lower court did not err in imputing Reilly’s income based on the average income of workers in a similar field in southwest Montana.[7] Affirming the lower court’s decision, the supreme court held that a parent could be found to be voluntarily underemployed when more lucrative employment could be found outside the parent’s trained field.[8]

 



[1] 314 P.3d 1206 (Alaska 2013).

[2] Id. at 1210.

[3] Id.

[4] Id. at 1211.

[5] Id.

[6] Id. at 1213–14.

[7] Id. at 1217–18.

[8] Id. at 1210.

Reilly v. Northrop

[FAMILY LAW]

In Reilly v. Northrop,[1] the supreme court held that a parent could be voluntarily underemployed when more lucrative employment could be found outside the parent’s trained field.[2] In 2003, Reilly and Vinnette had a child, while Reilly was working in Alaska as a drilling engineer.[3] In 2004, Reilly moved to Montana but was unable to obtain comparable employment and subsequently had a second child who, like his first child, had special needs.[4] On appeal, Reilly argued that his child support payments should based on his current income and, consequently, should be reduced.[5] The supreme court affirmed the lower court’s decision, reasoning that underemployment could be considered voluntary even if it was the result of failed good faith attempts to gain sufficient employment.[6] Thus, the lower court did not err in imputing Reilly’s income based on the average income of workers in a similar field in southwest Montana.[7] Affirming the lower court’s decision, the supreme court held that a parent could be found to be voluntarily underemployed when more lucrative employment could be found outside the parent’s trained field.[8]

 



[1] 314 P.3d 1206 (Alaska 2013).

[2] Id. at 1210.

[3] Id.

[4] Id. at 1211.

[5] Id.

[6] Id. at 1213–14.

[7] Id. at 1217–18.

[8] Id. at 1210.