December 2020 | COA20-236 (N.C. App. 2020)

Angel v. Sandoval (North Carolina 2020)

If a parent is voluntarily underemployed, a court can use the parent’s earning capacity as income for child support. The mother filed to modify child support based on the father’s increase in income. The mother was not working, and the court set her income at zero. The final order substantially increased the father’s support. The father appealed, arguing that the trial court failed to impute income to the mother at her earning capacity rather than her actual income. The appellate court upheld the order. The record didn’t reflect any evidence of bad faith on the mother’s part. The record reflected her ability to work but her reasons for staying at home were sound. She testified that the children’s performance in school improved and she could better participate in their activities.

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