Determinations about alimony and child support depend on each party’s financial situation. A court may order your spouse to make income-based payments for a specific timeframe as part of your divorce terms.
If you’re on the receiving end of such calculations, you probably have good reason to advocate for the maximum amount possible. However, what can you do if your ex’s reported income is far less than they’re capable of earning?
How can a court protect my interests?
Ideally, your spouse has a history of working to their full potential, and the court would issue support orders accordingly. But some individuals take asset protection into their own hands.
Your ex could intentionally minimize their income level in a selfish attempt to spite you. Thankfully, you don’t necessarily have to suffer a loss because of their elective earning choices.
Imputed income in divorce
The court can assign an estimated income to your spouse if they report an inability to pay support.
Barriers to employment are one thing; a court doesn’t aim to inflict additional hardship after situations out of your (or your former spouse’s) control. However, you can seek fair judgment for voluntary unemployment or underemployment.
How much could they earn?
You may want to involve a vocational expert if you’re convinced your ex is shirking their financial responsibilities. The tasks of their role would include:
- Establishing your ex’s work aptitude
- Gathering a list of applicable job openings in your local area
- Determining an appropriate potential salary
From there, they can help you support your case before a judge.
You and your children deserve the best possible results, no matter your social standing or income tax bracket. Remember, you’re not alone just because your marriage is ending. It is important to work with a sophisticated family law attorney when facing complex support and property division issues during divorce.