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Proving Earning Capacity in PA

Pittsburgh, PA |

I am a custodial parent of 2 children going through divorce. My wife is the non-custodial parent and we are having a combined conf./hearing to set both APL and child support. My wife has never worked full time even when not married. She has been a continuous 26 year part time worker with one company. I can prove that she has the ability to work and that the opportunities exist for her to work full time-even with the same employer. I never asked her to only continue to work part time while married and in fact, often encouraged her to work full time. How much influence will her never having worked full time influence the court in deciding earning capacity? What else can I provide to the court to influence their decision in my favor and for the benefit of my children?

Attorney Answers 1


  1. A court can impute income to a part time worker if its demonstrated that she is underemployed. A court will look at all the factors to determine whether income should be imputed. Does she have a degree that would enable her to get a full time job at better pay? What was she doing those 26 years that kept her at a part time work? And now that 26 years has gone by, is she even capable of fulltime work at this point?

    A court can also impute her current hourly wage to fulltime.... So for instance if she makes $10/hr for 20 hrs a week, the court can keep the $10 figure, but impute her hours to 40. Again, the question is whether she is voluntarily underemployed, and the ability to gain full time work.

    There are no guarantees what a judge/commisioner's decision would be. But you are on the right track.

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