Serving Indiana Since 1994

Determining child support when one parent is unemployed

On Behalf of | Jan 6, 2021 | Child Support

Providing for children’s needs in Indiana can be very costly for their parents. They have the basic needs of food, clothing and shelter which can add up quickly, but they have many other needs as well. This could include paying for medical insurance and unreimbursed medical expenses, sports and other extracurricular activities, child-care, entertainment, costs associated with school and many other costs.

It is important that both parents are contributing to these expenses though. If the parents are married this can be accomplished relatively easily, but if the couple divorces, one parent is usually ordered to pay the other child support. The amount they pay is determined by the child support guidelines. This is based on a number of different factors, but the most important one is the parents’ respective incomes.

Imputing income to unemployed parents

Some parents may not work or may take a different job earning significantly less in order to lower their income and ultimately their child support obligation though. In order to prevent this from happening though and to ensure the children are adequately cared for after the divorce, courts can impute income to the parent if they are found to be voluntarily unemployed or underemployed.

If the court does determine that, it will analyze a number of factors to determine the parent’s potential income. These factors include, but are not limited to, the employment history, what they earned in previous jobs, their job qualifications and experience, education levels, job opportunities in the area and other factors.

There are many parents in Indiana who are divorced or are going through a divorce. During this process child support will usually be ordered. It is important that the children’s needs are met and this means that parents must continue to earn what they are capable of earning. The issue of potential income can be a complicated one and consulting with experienced attorneys could be beneficial.