A Jefferson County, Birmingham, Alabama client asked an interesting question today. How is child support calculated when your ex-spouse doesn't work, or has a sporadic work history? Primarily, when calculating child support the court looks to the well being of the child. And when awarding child support in this situation ,an Alabama court will impute an income to your ex-spouse, if the court finds he/she is voluntarily unemployed or underemployed. The court will estimate the unemployed or underemployed parents income, and impute that income to the spouse owing child support. The court looks to past employment, employment potential, probable earning levels, education and job qualifications, as well as job opportunities and earning levels in the community. The Alabama rules regarding child support can be found in theChild Support Guidelines Rule 32.