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What If My Spouse Is Voluntarily Unemployed or Underemployed?

In the State of Georgia, the Georgia child support worksheet determines the amount of child support paid by the non-custodial parent. However, there are instances where a parent suspects that the other parent is intentionally not working or not working in a capacity that would allow them to generate the amount of earnings that they are qualified make. In making a determination as to whether the other parent is either voluntarily unemployed or underemployed the court will need to determine the reasons for the accused’s parent’s occupational choices and weigh them against the parent’s responsibility to support their child. Additionally, in this determination, the court is not limited to occupational choices motivated only by an intent to avoid or reduce the payment of child support but can also inquire as to any intentional choices that affected the parent’s or spouse’s income.

If there is an allegation that a parent or spouse is “willfully” or “voluntarily” unemployed or underemployed the court will consider factors such as:

  • The parent’s past and present employment
  • The parent’s education and training
  • Whether unemployment or underemployment for the purpose of pursuing training or education is reasonable in light of the parent’s responsibility
  • A parent’s ownership of valuable assets and resources
  • The parent’s own health and ability to work outside the home
  • The parent’s role (1) as caretaker of a child of that parent, (2) whether there is a child of that parent with particular needs due to being disabled or some other impairment

There are several matters that can be litigated during the course of a hearing for child support. If the issue of whether a parent has voluntarily become unemployed or underemployed is litigated it is important to have the advice of experienced family law and divorce attorneys. We will guide you through each of the listed factors and prepare your case for the best possible outcome. The Faucette Law Firm, LLC specializes in in contested and uncontested divorces, legitimations, child support child custody, modifications and adoptions. Contact our office today for a consultation.