A mother filed a lawsuit against her former husband to increase the amount of child support for their minor son, where they have joint custody, and requested the court to increase the sum from 1,850NIS to 5,164NIS, i.e. more than two and a half time than the original amount. The mother claimed that her financial stet was worsened due to the fact that her income was reduced because her new partner, who supported her financially, left, and, there was an increase in the minor’s expenses during the past 7 years since the divorce.
Family Court judge in Tel Aviv, Justice Erez Shani, referred in his verdict to the plaintiff’s allegations and stated that a child support claim for an amount exceeding 5,100NIS a month for one minor, is unreasonable; one could perhaps understand it if it was a case of “indisputably wealthy father”, but that is not the case here.
The judge rebuked the mother when he wrote in his judgment that if her income did indeed decrease, she was expected to find cheaper accommodations and reduce unnecessary expenses:
“It is expected, for example, from the mother, that in a time of reduction of her source of income or gifts, for whatever reason, she will find cheaper accommodations and not settle with saying “I did not find”, that she will not require “Toiletries” for the minor in the amount of 2,400NIS a year and a similar sum for birthdays and pocket money – This is a 10 years old minor we are talking about”.
As for the mother’s claims that expenses grew as her son grew up, the judge ruled that the mere fact that a minor has grown does not constitute as a significant change in circumstances by itself, unless it comes in conjunction with another significant change in circumstance – not related to age: “The actual maturation of a minor and the change in his needs, stemming from his growing up, was a predictable matter when the agreement was approved, therefore, since it was not claimed that expenses were unpredictable and they are the result of the natural development of the minor, this fact alone is not reason enough to claim for significant change in circumstances and change the sum paid.
On the other hand, the judge accepted part of plaintiff’s claims, and after considering all the facts, ruled that the sum paid by the father to the mother for child support should be raised but only by 350NIS a month, thus bringing the total paid by the father to the sum of 2,200NIS per month.