Must Child Support be Paid Even if you Have no Income?

Sometimes yes.  Commonly child support is determined by how much time each parent spends with the child along with each parents income from all sources; however, even if a parent has no income the court may order child support.  The court can look at non-income generating assets with the potential to produce income, prior earning history, marketable skills, and order child support accordingly even if the parent has no current income.  If you are having career problems, the court may still impute income to you based on past work history if the court determines that you have the ability and opportunity to get work of some sort even if that work be outside of your chosen profession.

Even if you have no current income, the court may order child support, particularly if you are unemployed by choice.  The Court has said that in only two circumstances is it inappropriate to impute earnings capacity for an unemployed or underemployed parent. Those are when there is, in fact, no earnings capacity or that relying on earnings capacity would not be consistent with the children's best interest.  For example, if you have children from a first marriage and then you remarry and have more children and decide to no longer work, the court may still impute income to you based on your past work history, skills, and training.  Your child support would then be based on this imputed income, rather than on your actual earnings.  In other words, you cannot avoid support responsibilities that already exist to previous children when you make choices about whether or not to work.  These issues are complex; so, whether you are a parent concerned about the payment or receipt of child support we urge you to contact Sagaria Law today to schedule an initial consultation with one of our experienced attorneys to learn more about these complexities.