When a couple gets divorced, a spouse who is obligated to pay child support may balk at the amount that they may have to pay, resulting in them trying to find a way to lower the ordered amount. One common way to do this is by either voluntarily leaving or getting fired from their job, lowering their income by dropping hours or even forgoing a promotion at work. For the parent who is collecting child support in such an instance, it would be grossly unfair to allow the other parent to have a lower income simply to avoid supporting their children. Florida courts do have the power to impute income to a parent who is lowering their income and your Pembroke Pine divorce attorney can help you.
Courts are allowed to “impute” income to a party in a divorce who is purposefully trying to keep their income low to avoid child support. What this means is that, if a parent avoids earning income in order to try lowering the amount of child support that they have to pay, the courts can take into account the amount that they have historically made. An example of this would be if one spouse dropped to part time at their job so that they would only earn half of what they earned before for purposes of determining child support. It would be likely if there was evidence this were done purposefully that the salary before the hours were voluntarily dropped would be used to determine child support.
Courts impute income for two main reasons. One is to punish a parent who is trying to avoid paying child support by purposefully keeping their income low. The other reason is to keep the child support order fair by not requiring the parent who is reporting their full income to carry a heavier financial burden because the other spouse voluntarily keeps their income low.
The courts often see two types of behaviors that they may impute income for. One is that one parent or spouse is voluntarily unemployed. This would mean that if the spouse who was supposed to pay child support quits their job does something on purpose to be fired from their job in order to lower their income. Also seen is a parent being voluntarily underemployed. This means that either lowering the number of hours they work or not taking promotions to keep their income low.
Avoiding child support through unemployment or underemployment is a serious matter that will affect your children directly. When you hire a Florida divorce attorney, you will make sure that your voice is heard so that you don’t have to have the financial burden of your child’s other parent avoiding child support. You do not have to simply accept the situation when your ex-spouse refuses to pay a fair amount of child support. If you need a Florida divorce attorney, call Albert Goodwin today.