Courtney ∙ Clark Law, P.C.Courtney ∙ Clark Law, P.C.
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When does the court base child support on imputed income?

The Illinois family law court focuses on protecting the best interests of children, and most divorcing parents do the same. However, there are those who would do anything to avoid paying child support, and that is where imputed income comes in. When determining the amount of child support a parent must pay, the court might look at potential income rather than actual income.

Sadly, cases exist in which parents make intentional efforts to reduce their income. It could be a parent who changes a well-paying job for one that is less lucrative, and some even claim to be unemployed to escape or lessen child support obligations. On the other hand, the custodial parent might pull similar tricks in order to receive more child support. However, family courts have zero-tolerance for sandbagging tactics.

If the court determines that the underemployment or unemployment is voluntary, it will impute income that is in line with that parent's potential income based on true earning capacity. The court will consider willingness to work, opportunity and ability along with employment history, education level and work skills. Expert witnesses might even be used by the court to help determine the imputed income, which is always based on the unique circumstances of each parent.

Divorced parents in Illinois who have questions about child support, or those who suspect their ex-spouses of misrepresenting their income, might find that answers and advice are available from an experienced family law attorney. A lawyer can assess the situation and explain the available option and legal steps that can be taken. With the support and guidance of legal counsel, child support issues might be resolved to serve the best interests of the child.

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Courtney ∙ Clark Law, P.C.
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Belleville, IL 62220

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