Documents Not Required to Prove Income Reduction in Child Support Case

In Crouse v. Crouse, No. 639 MDA 2013 (unpublished, January 7, 2014), the mother and father settled their child and spousal support case when they first separated in 2008. At that time, Father was a principal of a corporation in the construction industry. Eleven months later, the support obligation was reduced when one of the children was emancipated, and subsequently, the spousal support terminated. In the fall of 2012, Father petitioned for a support reduction, but did not produce income information or appear at the hearing. His petition was dismissed.

In January 2013, Father petitioned again for a reduction of child support, alleging a change in income. At the hearing, he testified that the corporation through which he previously derived his income was failing and would be dissolved. He testified that he was looking for a job but did not expect to earn as much as he previously had. He had not filed tax returns since 2004. The trial court reviewed the factors for assigning an earning capacity under Rule 1910.16-2(d)(4) and reduced Father’s child support obligation. Mother appealed.

In her appeal, Mother argued that the trial court should not have reduced Father’s child support without documentary evidence to corroborate his testimony. The Superior Court cited cases holding that credibility determinations will not be reviewed on appeal, and affirmed that documentary evidence is not required to corroborate testimony. In this non-precedential opinion, the Superior Court affirmed.

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