Emotions can run very high during divorces, and spouses can become very upset with each other. These tensions can govern many of the decisions made during the divorce.
This includes the decisions they make regarding their children. During a divorce, parents need to make decisions regarding child custody, parent-time, and child support, which can all be impacted by emotions.
One way emotions may govern a decision is that a parent may try to avoid paying the other child support, or they may try to reduce the amount they need to pay. To accomplish this goal, a parent may quit a job, reduce their hours, or take a lower-paying job before they make decisions regarding child support.
While this is not fair to the other parent, it is also not fair for the children. Child support is to be used to provide for the children’s basic needs, and the law wants to ensure that this occurs.
How income can be assigned to a parent
If a parent purposely reduces their income to avoid child support, judges can impute income to the parent for child support purposes. Imputed income is usually based on an assumption that the parent is capable of working 40 hours a week.
Judges may analyze the parent’s work history, education, training, available jobs the parent is qualified for, and the amount that these jobs would pay. After analyzing some or all of these factors, the judge would make a determination of the parent’s potential income. This amount would then be used to determine child support, regardless of whether the parent actually earns that amount or not.
Child support is an important part of divorces in Utah, and it is important that children receive this financial support. Raising children can be difficult, and it can also be expensive. This is true whether parents are married or divorced. It is important that parents are not able to avoid this obligation by simply quitting a job or taking one earning significantly less until child support is established. Experienced attorneys understand how child support is established and may be able to help guide one through the process.