If you are paying child support to your former partner, this is likely to be a significant strain on your finances. If your ex-spouse does not work, you may feel frustrated by what you might consider as a lack of effort on their part. It’s likely that you will wonder about the options available to you regarding modifying the child support order.
It is possible to use income imputation to modify the child support order in certain circumstances. Income imputation is a way of using one parent’s earning potential rather than their actual income to calculate the child support owed. This helps to incentivize both parents to fulfill their responsibilities to their children.
Income imputation is only done in certain circumstances
Parents who have custody of their child all or most of the time would find it very difficult, if not impossible, to be employed full-time. Similarly, if a person has been actively looking for work but is not able to secure a job, they should not be held responsible for their lack of income. In these cases, it is likely that the courts would not impute income.
Income imputation is only carried out in circumstances in which a parent is choosing not to work when they have the skills and capabilities to do so. A parent who chooses to not work while benefiting from child support payments will likely have their income potential estimated by courts. This estimate will be applied to the child support calculations, and, as a result, their child support payments will be lowered.
The best interests of the child are always observed
The general premise behind the morality of income imputation on child support payments is that having maximally employed parents is in the child’s best interests. The courts want to incentivize parents to seek employment so that they can fulfill their duties and provide for their children.
If you believe that the amount of child support you are paying is unfair given the other parent’s earning potential, it is important to look into the ways in which the law could help you. The courts always seek to establish a fair ruling that will be for the benefit of the family as a whole.