In the realm of family law, imputing income is a crucial aspect of child support and custody determinations, especially in cases where one parent is voluntarily underemployed or unemployed. Oklahoma Statute 43 O.S. Section 118B(C)(1) provides specific guidance on how income can be imputed in child support matters. In this blog post, we’ll take a deep dive into Section 118B(C)(1) to shed light on the imputation of income in accordance with Oklahoma law.
Understanding Oklahoma Statute 43 O.S. Section 118B(C)(1)
Oklahoma Statute 43 O.S. Section 118B(C)(1) is a subsection of the broader statute dealing with shared parenting time, and it addresses the imputation of income. Specifically, this section outlines how income may be imputed to a parent for child support purposes.
Key Provisions of Section 118B(C)(1)
1. Voluntary Underemployment or Unemployment: Section 118B(C)(1) addresses cases where a parent is voluntarily underemployed or unemployed. In such instances, the court may impute income to that parent based on their earning capacity.
2. Earning Capacity Assessment: To impute income, the court assesses the parent’s earning capacity, taking into account factors such as their education, skills, training, work history, and the job market. The goal is to determine what the parent is capable of earning rather than what they are currently earning.
3. Evidence and Documentation: Parties involved in the case may present evidence and documentation to support their positions regarding imputed income. This could include past employment records, education credentials, and vocational assessments.
4. Presumption of Full-Time Employment: Section 118B(C)(1) includes a presumption that a parent with a child of school age or younger should be working full-time unless circumstances indicate otherwise.
5. Exceptional Circumstances: The statute acknowledges that there may be exceptional circumstances that warrant deviating from the presumption of full-time employment. For example, if a parent has a legitimate reason for not working full-time, such as a disability or caring for a disabled child, the court may consider these factors.
6. Burden of Proof: The burden of proof rests on the party seeking to impute income. This means they must provide sufficient evidence to demonstrate the other parent’s earning capacity and the reasonableness of imputing income.
Why Imputation of Income Matters
Imputing income is a critical component of child support calculations because it ensures that child support orders are based on a fair assessment of each parent’s financial responsibility. When a parent voluntarily chooses to earn less than they are capable of, it can impact the financial support available for the child’s well-being. Imputing income helps maintain equity in child support arrangements and ensures that children receive the support they deserve.
Oklahoma Statute 43 O.S. Section 118B(C)(1) plays a pivotal role in child support cases, especially when imputing income is necessary. Understanding this statute is essential for both parents involved in child support matters to ensure that child support orders are fair and based on the child’s best interests. If you have questions or concerns about imputing income in your Oklahoma child support case, consult with a knowledgeable family law attorney with The Smith Firm to help navigate the legal process effectively. Contact us today at (405) 843-1000 or schedule your consultation at your convenience.