Child support is a critical issue in a Utah family law case and people who are concerned as to the amount that will be ordered might get confused over certain terms. For those who have a job, income is easy to understand and the court will make its determinations based on that. However, there are other factors that can come into play based on the circumstances. Since every case is different, one person might not have a job with regular income or they might not work at all. For those who are not working, imputed income will be part of the process.
How imputed income is used in a child support order
Parents who are not currently employed but are deemed capable of earning money per month will have income imputed to them. This is an amount they would be expected to earn for a regular, 40-hour workweek. There is no set amount. It will be based on the person’s work history, their education and marketable skills. In some instances, the person does not have a work history and the court does not know what their job or capabilities are. If this is the case, then the imputed income may be based on the federal minimum wage.
There may be instances in which the court will not use the imputed income template. These include child care costs at or near the amount the custodial parent earns on his or her own; a parent who cannot earn a minimum wage because of physical or mental challenges; a parent who is taking part in training or education programs to garner skills and abilities for employment; or if the child has certain physical or emotional requirements that make it necessary for a custodial parent to be in the home.
For any child support issue, legal help might be necessary
When the court decides on a child support amount, there are many considerations that will be part of the case. That includes the income of the parents. If a parent’s employment is in flux or they are not working, imputed income could be a fundamental part of the order and how it is handled. Each side will want its voice heard regardless of whether it is from the perspective of the custodial parent or the supporting parent. For help with child support, imputed income or any aspect of a family law case, having legal assistance from an experienced professional can be essential.