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Expert Witness Testimony in Colorado Divorce and Child Custody and Family Support Cases Pertaining to Support

It is often necessary to have expert witness testimony in Colorado Divorce, child custody and family support cases. In general, an expert witness may give an opinion while a lay witness can not give an opinion as to anything outside of his or her firsthand knowledge.

Sometimes it is important to determine the income earning capacity of a spouse for purposes of spousal support. This could occur in cases where a spouse has not worked for some time during the marriage, or where a spouse works part-time. Income or earning capacity is important for support matters as it impacts the support calculation and can reduce the payor's obligation. Potential income of a parent shall be used in the computation of child support if the parent is voluntarily unemployed or underemployed. In determining whether a parent is voluntarily underemployed, the trial court may consider available employment. A vocational expert can opine on the employability of a nonworking spouse and a potential capacity for earnings.

Vocational Evaluators

Vocational evaluators aid in the determination of potential earnings for purposes of income imputation. To impute income in cases of unemployment or underemployment, a court must consider not just potential earnings, but also whether parent or spouse is shirking a support obligation. Is a parent unreasonably foregoing higher paying employment? There are some circumstances where income can not be imputed, such as when a parent is caring for a child of the parties age 2 and a half or younger. If a parent is shirking a support obligation, the court must determine what the spouse or parent can reasonably earn. Vocational evaluators can gather information and opine generally on such factors as:

  • employment experience and history
  • physical or mental disabilities that may impact the ability to work
  • functional limitations
  • job search efforts;
  • the amount of time spent searching for a higher paying position before accepting a lower paying position;
  • any employment offer declinations;
  • search efforts for a position commensurate with experience and training;
  • the availability of suitable positions; and
  • the prevailing regional wage.
Turning Change Into Opportunity in Colorado Springs

A knowledgeable and experienced divorce and family law attorney can guide you through Colorado Springs divorce and family law matters by negotiating, mediating and litigating. Give yourself the benefit of hiring one. This allows you to focus on moving on to a better future instead of spending your time attempting to navigate complex legal rules and procedures.

Sabra Janko from Janko Family Law is a knowledgeable and experienced attorney who protects your best interests and ensures that you are aware of your legal rights and obligations. Contact us at 719-344-5523 for a free 30-minute informational consultation or complete our online form.

Client Reviews
Excellent service! Sabra and her team work diligently while looking for all the little details that impact the case. Im so grateful to have found this firm. Great communication from start to finish. Also they were very patient with my lack of understanding the court process. Highly recommend! Chris Faucett
As an active duty service member I can definitely say that at Janko Family Law I was served with the utmost professionalism, in a timely and efficient manner. Very glad I discovered these experienced professionals to assist me in my legal circumstances, and I will certainly be recommending them to people in the future. Rebecca Cody
Sabra and her office are wonderful to work with! ... very knowledgeable, supportive, and compassionate during the entire process. The experience and legal expertise are evident. Tim Halladay
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