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Can I still get child support if my ex isn’t working?

On Behalf of | Sep 14, 2020 | Child Support

Single parents in Southern California who are trying to raise children know how difficult it can be to make ends meet financially.

The law requires, and these parents can only fairly expect, the child’s other parent to pay his or her fair share of the costs of raising the child through his or her court-ordered child support payments.

Although certainly residents of Escondido and greater San Diego County can face difficult employment circumstances through no fault of their own.

Even so, it can be frustrating for parents when unemployment goes on for months and the unemployed parent uses it as an excuse for not paying as much support as they otherwise would.

Income from other sources counts for child support purposes

A parent facing this situation has a number of options.

For one, when it comes to calculating child support, courts must consider a wide range of items as income, including certain items which a person would not have to report on his or her tax returns, like spousal support or regular gifts from loved ones.

Likewise, retirement income, income from trust, annuities and other investments and certain Social Security benefits get factored when a court determines a parent’s child support obligation.

A parent who is dealing with another parent saying that he or she cannot afford to pay should demand an investigation into how that parent is supporting himself or herself without a job.

A court may take appropriate action when a parent is voluntarily underemployed

Likewise, California courts have the authority to consider how much a parent could be earning were he or she to be employed full time.

They do not have to do so in all cases, such as when a parent has faced a temporary setback or is working less because he or she spends more time with the children.

On the hand, asking a court to consider earning capacity may be appropriate if it seems that a parent is just reluctant to accept a well-paying job.