A big part of calculation of child support and spousal support in Sacramento is the matter of each spouse’s income.  In many Sacramento divorces, one or both spouses may be unemployed or underemployed.  If one spouse is unemployed or underemployed, the other spouse may be stuck with a higher child support or spousal support payment than they should be.  This is extremely frustrating to the paying spouse given that both parents have an obligation to work to the best of their ability to support their children and to improve their own financial station in life.

In situations like these, it is very important for the paying spouse to ask the Sacramento child support court to put pressure on the underemployed spouse to improve their income situation.  However, the court is required to look at the underemployed spouse’s income earning potential (skills, abilities, training, education, experience) and the available market opportunities that match that potential.  Until an analysis of both of these things happens, the court cannot simply guess at income figures and put them into the calculation.  The court is also unwilling to take one spouse’s testimony regarding the other spouse’s former income and simply input it into the guideline support calculator.

The critical way to convince a Sacramento child support court of a spouse’s ability to earn and present market opportunities to earn is to have a vocational evaluation conducted.  The court is usually willing to order one so long as the requesting party agrees to pay the cost.  In our opinion this is money well spent because it will provide accountability to the underemployed spouse to get a reasonable job.  If the underemployed spouse won’t obtain a job, and the vocational evaluation demonstrates the underemployed spouse has the ability and opportunity to earn income, the court may use the vocational report and vocational evaluation counselor’s testimony at trial to input an income to the underemployed spouse.

If you are interested in discussing support further, or how to obtain a vocational evaluation to force your spouse to find a job, please give us a call.  We can help you understand the support and vocational evaluation process in a free half-hour attorney consultation.