When parents raise their children they need to provide for them in many ways including financially. At the most basic level, parents must feed their children, make sure they have a place to live and are clothed. Simply providing the basics can be expensive, but there are many other costs that parents must pay as well such as healthcare costs, child care costs, extracurricular activities, and others. If the parents are married sharing the costs is easy, but if parents divorce ensuring both parents contribute can be more difficult.
So, to ensure that both parents contribute to these costs, most divorce decrees will include a child support obligation for one parent to pay to the other. The amount of the child support obligation is based on a number of factors, but the biggest one is the parent’s respective gross income. This is relatively easy to determine when the parent is working for a company, but sometimes a parent may quit a job, be fired, or take a job earning less money or working fewer hours while the divorce is pending.
This will make their gross income lower and ultimately their child support obligation lower. However, the courts can impute income if the court determines that the parent is voluntarily unemployed or underemployed. In determining how much to impute to the parent for the child support calculation, the court will look at a number of factors. These factors include, but are not limited to, the employment history of the parent, their education, physical or mental disabilities, the availability of work, the normal income for people working those jobs, and other factors.
Many parents in Ohio are divorced or going through the process. One of the issues that must be resolved during the divorce is child support. This is determined by making a calculation based on the parents’ incomes. In situations where the parent is voluntarily unemployed or underemployed, the court may impute income to the parent to determine what they are capable of earning and will base child support on that. Experienced attorneys understand these matters and may be able to guide one through it.