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Employment, Underemployment and Overtime

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Because child support and maintenance may be determined pursuant to formulas that use the parties' incomes, issues regarding the parties' employment and potential income are often important.  

Imputing Income

Where a party is not working full-time, or is not making an income he or she might otherwise be making, a court may use a different amount to calculate child support or maintenance than the party's actual income.  The imputed amount may assume full-time employment, minimum wage, or may be otherwise affected by a party's potential income, e.g., as a result of education or employment experience.  There are many potential factors in imputing income, such as employment expectations during the marriage/relationship, the availability of suitable employment and whether there is a child with special needs being cared for by a parent, limiting employment potential.  Determining potential income sometimes involves the expertise of a "vocational assessment" to address these and other factors.