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Imputed Income

In some situations, a spouse that is not working or generating an income might still have an income amount assigned to or imputed to them for purposes of calculating child support. In Orlando, Tampa and throughout Florida, monthly income shall be imputed or assigned “to an unemployed or underemployed parent if such unemployment or underemployment is found by the court to be voluntary on that parent’s part, absent a finding of fact by the court of physical or mental incapacity or other circumstances over which the parent has no control.” Fla. Stat. § 61.30(2)(b).

Voluntary Unemployment or Underemployment

In the event of such voluntary unemployment or underemployment, the employment potential and probable earnings level of the parent shall be determined based upon his or her recent work history, occupational qualifications, and prevailing earnings level in the community if such information is available.

 Practice Pointer - What if no Income Info is available?

If the information concerning a parent’s income is unavailable, a parent fails to participate in a child support proceeding, or a parent fails to supply adequate financial information in a child support proceeding, income shall be automatically imputed to the parent.  The court will presume that the parent has income equivalent to the median income of year-round full-time workers as derived from current population reports or replacement reports published by the United States Bureau of the Census. The presumption may be rebutted by presenting evidence to the contrary. 

Stay at Home Moms & Dads

It should be noted that the court may refuse to impute income to a parent if the court finds it necessary for that parent to stay home with the child who is the subject of a child support calculation.            

Burden of Proof

In order for the court to impute income at an amount other than the median income of year-round full-time workers as derived from current population reports or replacement reports published by the United States Bureau of the Census, the party seeking to impute income has the burden to present competent, substantial evidence that:

  1. The unemployment or underemployment is voluntary; and
  2. Identifies the amount and source of the imputed income, through evidence of income from available employment for which the party is suitably qualified by education, experience, current licensure, or geographic location, with due consideration being given to the parties’ time-sharing schedule and their historical exercise of the time-sharing provided in the parenting plan or relevant order.

The court must make specific findings of fact regarding the above.

Aside from the above, income may not be imputed based upon:

  1. Income records that are more than 5 years old at the time of the hearing or trial at which imputation is sought; or
  2. Income at a level that a party has never earned in the past, unless recently degreed, licensed, certified, relicensed, or recertified and thus qualified for, subject to geographic location, with due consideration of the parties’ existing time-sharing schedule and their historical exercise of the time-sharing provided in the parenting plan or relevant order.

Locations

Primary Office Locations

By Appointment Only

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