- A parent’s ability to work;
- The opportunity of a parent to work; and
- Whether a parent working is consistent with the best interest of the children.
If you are going through a divorce and your spouse does not work or refuses to work, you may be concerned about the adequacy of your child support award. Child support is designed to ensure that the needs of California children are kept front and center, despite the separation or divorce of their parents. The law recognizes that both parents have a duty to contribute to their children’s support. This includes, in some circumstances, charging unemployed or underemployed parents with income earning capacity even though they may not be working at all. This is called imputing income. Section 4058(b) of the California Family Code states that “the Court may, in its discretion, consider the earning capacity of a parent in lieu of the parent’s income, consistent with the best interests of the children”. In making this determination, courts will consider three factors: