Child support law generally requires a parent to pay child support based partly on the amount of income that the parent could reasonably earn (your “imputed income”) — not just the amount the parent is actually earning. So if you could earn $100,000/year, of which you’d have to pay $20,000/year in child support under the standard child support guideline, you can’t lower this child support payment by just quitting work and going to art school, or joining a monastery, or going to work for a nonprofit that only pays you $40,000/year. Your obligations to your child, the theory goes, should be based on what you could earn and not just on what you do earn.Then he tells of a current case where a US Army soldier had to pay child support based on an imputed income of $136,791, even tho his salary was only $20,000.
The appeals court said that the family court judge should reconsider the imputation because it is much more than the dad could be reasonably assumed to earn outside the military. But the appeals court fails to say the obvious -- that a soldier should only pay ex-wife support based on his actual salary, not what he might be making if acquired a law license and got a job as a high-paid lawyer.
A lawyer writes:
Most child support guidelines are based upon academic surveys of the amounts parents of different income levels spend to support their children, in intact families in which the parents live together. ... So the whole system is deliberately based upon the results of objective studies.I don't know how anyone could say anything so ridiculous. This man was ordered to pay more than he makes. There is no objective academic surveying saying anything of the kind. The guidelines were based on consultant recommendations who cited bogus research.