Edwards v. Lowry

In Edwards v. Lowry, 232 Va. 110, 348 S.E.2d 259 (Va 1986), John Lowry sought to reduce his child support because he lost his job as a result of his admitted larceny from his employer, a hardware dealer. The Court noted that a party seeking a reduction in child support payments must show that his lack of ability to pay is not due to his own voluntary act or because of his neglect. The Court said that Lowry was attempting to shift to his "child the consequences of his own wrongdoing." Edwards, 348 S.E.2d at 261. "In the case before us, it is undisputed that John Lowry's diminution of income was the direct consequence of his voluntary, wrongful act. After receiving a direct warning from his employer following a previous theft, he was fired for stealing again. He failed to meet the burden, required by the rule in Hammers, of showing himself free of responsibility for his change in circumstances, and was not entitled to a reduction in support based upon the diminution of income caused by the loss of his job." Id.