Florida Family Law allows a court to impute income to a parent in a child support case if the parent is voluntarily unemployed or underemployed. This means that the court can estimate the parent’s income based on their education, training, skills, and work experience, even if the parent is not actually earning that amount of money.
The law and court uses the term reasonable – this is very liberal in its definition
This is why if your case involves imputed income you need a vocational expert to do an assessment of employability, what is expected income and this is through an earning capacity evaluation and labor market survey
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
If the court imputes income to a parent, the parent will be ordered to pay child support based on the imputed income.
The law on imputed income in Florida Family Law is found in section 61.30, Florida Statutes. This section states that:
“The court may impute income to a parent if the court finds that the parent is voluntarily unemployed or underemployed and that the parent’s earning capacity is not being fully utilized.”
The section goes on to list the factors that the court must consider in determining whether to impute income to a parent.
Imputed income can be 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.
Here are some additional things to keep in mind about imputed income in Florida Family Law:
- The court can only impute income to a parent if the parent is voluntarily unemployed or underemployed. This means that the parent must be able to work but is choosing not to.
- The court cannot impute income to a parent based on their potential earnings. The court can only impute income based on the parent’s actual education, training, skills, and work experience.
- The court cannot impute income to a parent if the parent is unable to work due to a disability.
If you are considering challenging a child support order that includes imputed income, it is important to speak to an attorney to discuss your options.
Its through the use of a vocational expert that an individuals education, training, skills, and work experience can be put in terms that the court can understand in terms of earning ability
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