Because a support order is made consistent with the best interest of the child or children, the court has the ability to look beyond a parent’s actual income. The court may consider the earning capacity of a parent in lieu of the parent’s actual income. The ability to consider earning capacity of the other parent comes from the public policy that favors providing adequate support for the child or children.
In order to have the court consider earning capacity, the court looks at the other parent’s ability to work and the opportunity to work. The ability to earn can be determined by a parent’s resume, education, past job performance, past earnings, and a vocational expert’s testimony. The opportunity to earn can be shown by want ads for persons with credentials similar to those of the parent, opinion testimony from a professional job counselor that a person with the parent’s credentials could obtain employment, and pay scales correlating ability and opportunity with the income to be imputed.
In order to have a proper argument prepared for an imputation of income to the other parent, contact our office for assistance.