Child Support Obligor may be required to notify court of increases in income for child support purposes

The Maine Supreme Judicial Court recently held that a person can be required to notify the Court of increases in income for child support purposes, and ordered to pay past due support as a sanction if the person fails to do so. In Dostanko v. Dostanko, 2013 ME 47, the divorce judgment required that the former husband recalculate his child support amount and file a motion to modify the judgment within thirty days of becoming employed.  The former husband, however, did not file a motion after becoming employed in 2008.  In 2011, the former wife filed a motion for contempt, and the court ordered the former husband to pay a compensatory fine in an amount equal to the amount he would have had to pay if he complied with the divorce judgment.  The Maine Supreme Judicial Court wrote: “If courts were precluded from ordering compensatory fines in these circumstances … [i]t would also create a perverse incentive for child support obligors to disobey court orders and skirt their responsibilities to their children, in contravention of the purposes inherent in the child support statute.”