September 2021 | 2021 WY 103 (2021)

Snowden v. Jaure (Wyoming 2021)

A parent who chooses not to work can be considered voluntarily underemployed. The father filed to modify support based on an increase in the mother’s income. In her financial affidavit, the mother represented she had no income. She testified she had worked in the oil and gas industry, had been laid off due to the pandemic, and was choosing to stay at home with her younger children. The trial court reduced her prior earnings by twenty five percent and imputed her at that amount. The father’s financial affidavit showed he only worked 20 hours per week. The court adjusted his monthly income for forty hours per week and then reduced the amount by the same twenty five percent. The final order set support for the mother to pay the father. The mother appealed. The Supreme Court affirmed. The mother argued her income should be zero. The Supreme Court noted precedent for imputing income to an able-bodied parent who chooses to stay at home. Based on that precedent, the Court found no abuse of discretion in imputing income to the mother.

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