What if a father/mother has no job?
The court will assign some income number to that parent, in its sole discretion. By this I mean that an income will be “imputed” to them based on their work experience, training and expertise. This issue is ultimately determined at the discretion of the judge. Your lawyer’s job is to investigate all the facts and argue persuasively to the judge what a fair income number should be.
For example, when it is apparent that a parent is not working specifically to avoid child support, the court can consider any relevant factor, Including:
- if a parent earned a different income prior to trial the court may consider that
- if the parent has a higher earning capacity.
- what they could earn if using their best efforts to find employment
- if a parent has voluntarily and deliberately become unemployed,
- if a parent is terminated and does not use best efforts to find new employment or refuses offers.
If a mother is not working because she stays home with the child, the court will look at:
- the age and maturity of the child,
- availability of child care givers,
- the expense of child care and the net income the parent would receive,
- any other reasons the parent stays home with the child