The short answer to this question is almost certainly yes.  One of the life-change aspects of a divorce or relationship break-up is figuring out child custody and child support responsibilities. Often times one spouse was largely responsible for the income earning and the other spouse took more day-to-day responsibility for the children.  It is important to realize that California law calculates child support based upon current day-to-day responsibility (parenting time) for the children and each parent’s income.  Thus, the parent that is paying support will want the recipient parent to boost their income to full-time earning potential.  This income boost should help lower child support obligations for the paying parent.

The recipient parent often resists this demand because they are used to being available for the children on a day-to-day basis.  The thought of returning to full-time work and the correlating adjustment upon the children is concerning.  However, regardless of these concerns, the court will generally order the recipient parent to obtain full-time wages commensurate with their work experience and opportunities in the labor market.  Sometimes this means the recipient parent is only able to earn full-time minimum wages.  Other times this means the recipient parent is capable of returning to a former job or undertaking a new but comparable job.  The principle that both parents must keep in mind is that they both must support the children to the best of their abilities.

If you are in a Placer County divorce or child support action, and you are concerned about your spouse’s earning potential and whether either or both parties are working to the best of their abilities, please give our office a call.  It is important that you have an attorney help you understand your legal rights and obligations in child support law.