Imputed Income In Florida Divorce Does Not Have to be Your Enemy
You might think that “imputed income” is a dirty word, especially if the court calculated your alimony and child support obligations by assuming that you make more money than you actually do.
In fact, imputed income has been a sticking point in many divorce cases. Maybe the court imputed too little income to your ex because she claimed she can only work during school hours, when in fact she has several relatives in town who would be able to assist with childcare, as they did during your marriage.
Perhaps you got a one-time bonus at work the year before your divorce, and the court erroneously included the amount as part of your salary. When not done correctly, imputed income can be grossly unfair and can lead to alimony and child support obligations that you cannot possibly pay.
When your income or your ex-spouse’s income varies from one year to the next, though, estimating the income of one or both parties is the only way to avoid constant conflict and deception. A Central Florida divorce lawyer in Orlando, FL can help you resolve a dispute related to alimony purposes.
When Imputing Income to You is Better Than the Alternative
A growing number of workers participate in the gig economy, getting paid per work assignment instead of earning an hourly wage or annual salary. If a party in a divorce has depended on gigs for most of their income for more than two years, the court will usually average that person’s earnings over the past few years, based on the person’s tax returns.
If you had an unusually good year at work the year that you got divorced, then using your most recent tax return as a basis for calculating your alimony will result in an unfairly high amount. Averaging your income over several years will result in a more reasonable alimony payment. An Orlando family law attorney can assist with this type of issue.
When Imputing Income to Your Ex-Spouse is Better Than the Alternative
Perhaps you and your ex-wife decided during the marriage that it was in the children’s best interests for her to be a stay-at-home mom, so she has never had a full-time job since your oldest child was born. Imagine that she has given piano lessons, babysat neighbors’ children, and tried to start her own business by selling vitamin supplements or costume jewelry through a multilevel marketing business model.
She keeps saying that her business is about to become profitable, but you are sure that it is going nowhere. (This was an issue in the Koscher case, except the business was not multi-level marketing.) If the court awards her alimony based on the imputed income that she could earn by babysitting or giving music lessons, this decision could encourage her to do those kinds of work instead of continuing to sink money into her doomed business.
On a related note, see these tips if your ex is refusing to pay child support.
Contact Sean Smallwood About Divorce Cases in Orlando Florida
Imputed income does not have to work against you when you have an Orlando Florida alimony lawyer on your side.
Contact Sean Smallwood, Orlando Divorce & Family Law P.A. for a consultation.
Sean Smallwood is an Orlando divorce attorney for the law firm Sean Smallwood, Orlando Divorce & Family Law P.A. where he represents clients in all areas of family law and divorce. 100% of the practice is devoted to family law. As an attorney in Orlando, he has helped many families with a wide variety of family law cases including Divorce, Child Custody, Child Support, and many other issues.