Yes: the Sacramento Family Court will order able-bodied parties to work if they are not presently working full-time. Parties to a Sacramento divorce or child support action should understand that figuring out child and spousal support responsibilities is a life-changing venture. Often times one spouse was largely responsible for earning income and the other spouse took more day-to-day responsibility for the children. 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 accustomed to caring for the children on a daily basis. Usually this parent is concerned about returning to full-time work because it is a big adjustment for them and the children. However, regardless of these concerns, the Sacramento family court will generally order the recipient parent to obtain full-time wages commensurate with their work experience and opportunities in the job market. Sometimes this means the recipient parent is only able to obtain a minimum wage job. Other times this means the recipient parent is capable of returning to a former job or undertaking a new but comparable job. Both parents should keep in mind that the Sacramento family court expects both parents to work to the best of their abilities to ensure the children are supported.

If you are in a Sacramento divorce or child support or spousal support action, and you are concerned about the other party’s earning potential and their actual efforts to work or seek work, please give our office a call. It is important that you have an attorney help you understand your legal rights and obligations in Sacramento divorce law, child support law and spousal support law.