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socrateaser, Lawyer
Category: Family Law
Satisfied Customers: 37822
Experience:  Retired (mostly)
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Can a Judge determine a child support amount based on the non-parents

Customer Question

Can a Judge determine a child support amount based on the non-parents income? (Scenario: childs parents are divorced & remarried to new people. Mother is unemployed, homemaker, looking for work in her field, and her new husband is supporting her. He has not adopted the child.)
Submitted: 7 years ago.
Category: Family Law
Expert:  socrateaser replied 7 years ago.

A parent's income can be imputed based on his/her earning capacity, which is (1) the talent and ability to work, (2) the availbility of work commensurate with the parent's talent and ability, and (3) the unwillingness to work.


Ths generally requires a vocational evaluation to determine what the parent could earn in the current market based on his/her earning capacity.


However, the parent's new spouse's income cannot be used to calculate support, because that person is not a party to the case and has no legal obligation to support the child.


Ultimately, if earning capacity is determined, then the parent will have to either (1) pay; (2) find a job and pay; (3) get the new spouse to pay, or (4) go to jail.


So, usually, once the parent is ordered imputed income and a payment, she will find a way to pay.


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