Imputed Earnings Possible for Child and Spousal Support Awards

On behalf of The Law Offices of Cindy D. Sackrin posted in Family Law on Thursday, August 21, 2014.

The divorce process can sometimes be an ugly process full of disputes and bad feelings. Some individuals who are going through the divorce process may wonder if the threats that a spouse makes during the proceedings are possible. In some cases, a soon-to-be-former spouse may argue that he or she is not going to work in order to avoid paying required child support and spousal support payments. A divorcing spouse may wonder if this is possible in family law situations.

In Florida, voluntary unemployment or underemployment may be considered when calculating the proper amount of child support and alimony awards. In cases of voluntary unemployment or underemployment, income may be imputed to the spouse for the purposes of determining alimony and child support. Likewise, income also may be imputed to the spouse that receives spousal support or child support.

In situations in which the unemployment or underemployment is a circumstance that is out of the control of the spouse or parent, that fact also may be taken into account. If the spouse or parent is able to contribute to the required support, however, the party must do so according to domestic relations laws. When determining imputed earnings, the court may look to comparable positions in the community and the most recent work history for the party as guidance. A variety of factors are considered when arriving at alimony and child support awards and imputed income may be one of them.

Family legal issues can be complex and often present multiple sides and important considerations. The family law system is designed to accommodate the often competing needs of different parties in order to arrive at the best outcome possible under the circumstances, which may frequently require careful consideration of facts unique to each situation.

Source:, "It's The Law: Income can be imputed for alimony or child support," William G. Morris, Aug. 16, 2014

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