In re Rees (Kansas 2021)

No. 123,206 (Kan. Ct. App. 2021)
July 2021

When a parent voluntarily leaves a higher paying job, the court must determine if the termination was for rational and sufficient reasons and the parent can’t find a similarly paying job. The father moved and found a lower paying job. He petitioned to modify his child support based on his reduced income. As the reason for his move, the father presented evidence he no longer had visitation rights to the child and he would be closer to his family. The trial court granted his petition and reduced support. The mother appealed. The appellate court upheld the modification. The mother argued the trial court erred by relying on a case which interpreted an old version of child support guidelines. This version made it harder for a parent to prove underemployment. The appellate court agreed the trial court applied the wrong guidelines but found it made no difference to the outcome of this situation. The father presented evidence to justify his move, which is required under the current guidelines. The error was harmless.