Ask A Lawyer: She Is Rewarded For Not Working

Question:

Why must I pay? I have joint and 50/50 parenting time. Both of us are remarried. Both of our spouses are employed. She chooses to be a stay at home mother. I choose to work. But, because I work I must pay child support and reward her for remaining at home.

I provide her a room, clothing and amenities, better than her mother. I am currently disabled. I went to the court and they stopped the support accruals. To accomplish this I claimed discrimination.

Yet, if LTD or Social Security kicks in I will probably have to pay a portion to my ex. Why am I penalized for a choice she made to stay home? While married she earned $75k, bonus, and stock options… she is capable of working. She is college educated with a degree in math.

 

 

 

ANSWER:

Many states allow a trial court to “impute” an income to a parent for the purpose of calculating child support.  Impute means to assign to her the income she is capable of earning.  It may depend on exactly why she is presently a “stay at home” mother.  If she is capable of earning that wage, and there is nothing requiring her to stay at home (like a disabled child), then the court should be aware of her potential.

 

 

Erik H. Carter is a Senior Attorney of the Cordell & Cordell, P.C. office in Indianapolis, Indiana as well as the Litigation Manager of both the Indianapolis and Pittsburgh offices. Mr. Carter has practiced since 1993 as an attorney. He is licensed in Illinois, Indiana, Pennsylvania as well as the Northern District of Indiana and the Southern District of Indiana.

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