Child Support: Imputing Income

Whether you have been married and divorced or are simply a parent trying to obtain financial support for your child, each and every parent is obligated to provide financial support for their child. Alabama has clear-cut rules outlining the financial responsibilities of each parent.  The Alabama Child Support Guidelines not only help calculate each parent’s child support, but also arrange and confirm that parents pay child support.

Too often parents try to dodge their child support payments and obligations by quitting a job or simply slacking off in their efforts to find a job. The Court tends to frown upon parents who unlawfully avoid paying child support. Therefore, in some circumstances, the Court may impute income. If it is determined that either parent has willingly become unemployed or intentionally become underemployed, the court will impute income based on a few factors:

  • The Court will review the parent’s previous work history.
  • The Court will consider the parent’s level of education.
  • The Court will contemplate the overall job market for that parent’s particular occupational skill set.

If a parent is unemployed, the Court will usually impute the parent’s income by using the current minimum wage. The current minimum wage, reflecting a forty-hour work week is $1,257.00 (before taxes) a month. The goal is for the Court to determine an amount that is reasonable based upon the above-factors and the overall efforts of the parent to find employment.

These rules and guidelines can be trying and difficult. If you are struggling to get through the calculations and multiple forms, you should contact an attorney to assist you. Attorney Anna L. Hart has extensive experience in child support matters. Contact Humble Law LLC, formerly Beckum Kittle LLP today to schedule a free consultation with Attorney Hart.

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