Some people will do anything they can to get out of paying a fair amount of child support – including quitting a job. Even if one parent is unemployed, the court may utilize a tool called imputed income to determine how much one parent should pay for the care of the minor child or children.
When we define imputed income as it pertains to child support, we are talking about the court determining how much income the parent could be earning. The court may use this tool if the parent is unemployed or underemployed.
Typically, a party knows how much income their spouse generated during the marriage. If during the discovery phase it is determined that an individual is reporting less earned income than they historically earned, an attorney can request that the court impute a fair income of what the spouse should be or could be earning.
In South Florida, the court will look at the individual’s prior earnings, labor statistics showing median income in the South Florida area for jobs for which the spouse is qualified, and even a vocational evaluation to assess earning capacity. Also examined during the process are:
The following are reasons why a court may assign imputed income:
The court will not impute income in legitimate cases when a parent does not have the ability to earn more money. Examples of legitimate circumstances include:
Whether you are the party whose earning capacity is being questioned, or the party who thinks their spouse is underemployed, it is best to secure the services of a family law attorney in South Florida. Coral Springs attorneys Brodzki Jacobs are here to help you get through these difficult times. Contact us at (954) 932-8300.