Pace v. Pace (Mississippi 2021)

No. 2019-CA-01377-COA (Miss. Ct. App. 2021)
July 2021

If a parent’s earnings are reduced through the parent’s own actions, the court may use earning capacity to determine income for child support. The parents filed for divorce. The father, a doctor, had a substance abuse problem. To keep his medical license, he had to undergo treatment and consent to monitoring. Instead, he surrendered his medical license. During the trial, he claimed he couldn’t afford the monitoring program. The chancellor used his earning capacity to set child support in the final order. The father appealed. The appellate court affirmed, finding no abuse of discretion. The record contained substantial evidence to support using his earning capacity. He claimed he was disabled due to a stroke but presented no evidence to support the claim. He would be receiving enough money in the asset division to pay for the monitoring program.