What is Imputed Income in Florida Child Support?
Imputed income when dealing with child support is the amount of income that the court determines a person is “capable” of earning if said person was to work to the best of his/her abilities. Imputation of income for child support is based on the principle that anyone who is able to assist in his/her self-support and to the support of those depending on them, should do so.
Before imputing a party’s income for child support it first must be proven to the court that the level of employment/lack of employment of the party is voluntarily below the party’s ability. F.S. 61.30 states that the employment potential of the party should be determined by “recent work history, occupational qualifications, and prevailing earnings level in the community.”
Secondly, the court will determine if the current level of income of the party is either self interested and/or the result of a lack of effort looking for work. If either of these reasons is the cause, the court may impute the party ‘s income. The party seeking to impute income should present substantial evidence his/her spouse is voluntarily under or unemployed. Such evidence could include available positions he/she is qualified for, his/her lifestyle not matching income flow, or income coming from a reoccurring secondary source.