Florida Family Laws that discuss imputed income for child support cases:
- Section 61.30, Florida Statutes: section states that the court may impute income to a parent if the parent is voluntarily unemployed or underemployed. The court will consider the parent’s education, training, skills, and work experience in making this determination.
But what is voluntarily unemployed? and how do you show to the court this is the case!
You might know, but how do you provide proof to the court a parent is choosing to be underemployed? Truth is the only way is to get a professional assessment of this by a vocational expert. You cannot just give basic information to the court, you have to provide proof the court can accept. This is why Vocational Experts are retained to help fully assess the situation.
The court will consider all of the relevant factors in determining whether to impute income to a parent. These factors may include:
- The parent’s education, training, skills, and work experience
- The parent’s past earnings
- The parent’s ability to find a job
- The parent’s reasons for being unemployed or underemployed
- The needs of the child
The only way to do this is through an expert witness that the court will accept an assessment from. A vocational expert and help the court determine what is a reasonable job search, what really is/are an individuals mental and physical limitations when it comes to being employed.
Just because a person has a mental or physical limitation does not mean they are unable to work.
Just because a person has a seemingly high VA Disability rating mean they are unable to work or is limited in the type and income.
You have to assess each limitation and vocational factors to determine this.
The best predictor to income and working ability isnt a persons disability or limitations its Age, Education, Past Work Experience, Work skills, and other things. Not a disability even if its visible.
If the court imputes income to a parent, the parent will be ordered to pay child support based on the imputed income.
It is important to note that imputed income is a complex issue, and the laws in Florida may change. If you are involved in a child support case, it is important to speak to an attorney to get legal advice specific to your situation.
A Vocational Evaluation of an individual will help determine their Earning Capacity.
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