Typically, child-support calculations in Colorado are a fairly straight forward. With a child support calculator, parents can understand the kind of child support payments that they need to make, or that they are owed.
However, in some cases, one parent may try to game the system by being underemployed in order to avoid paying higher child support. Usually parents do this when they want to try to get back against the other parent, or take revenge on the other parent by paying less child support. In such cases however, the child’s health is at stake, because there may not be enough sufficient money for his financial needs.
When parents do this, the courts may decide to intervene, and impute income to the other parent. If the court believes that as a parent you are shirking your responsibility to provide well for your child by not working at your full capacity or full potential, the court may decide to impute income to the other parent. That means that the court may decide to credit income to the other parent, based on your potential income.
Your potential income could depend on your education levels, the kind of jobs that you have held in the past, and other factors. The court will take all of these factors into consideration while determining your potential income, and will measure that against the income that you currently earn.
However, the courts will not intervene in those cases where there is a genuine reason why a parent is not working at full capacity. For instance, if the parent suffers from some kind of disability that prevents him or her from working at full capacity, or when the parent has lost his job as a result of being fired or laid off, and has not been able to find full employment, the court may not decide to impute income to the other parent. These cases are typically decided on a case-by-case basis.