According to Florida law, when determining child support the court may impute to a voluntarily unemployed parent based on several factors, including employment potential and the probable earnings level based upon a parent’s recent work history, occupational qualifications, and prevailing earnings level in the community if such information is available.
From Florida Statutory Law:
In order for the court to impute income at an amount other than the median income of year-round full-time workers as derived from current population reports or replacement reports published by the United States Bureau of the Census, the court must make specific findings of fact consistent with the requirements of this paragraph. The party seeking to impute income has the burden to present competent, substantial evidence that:
a. The unemployment or underemployment is voluntary; and
b. Identifies the amount and source of the imputed income, through evidence of income from available employment for which the party is suitably qualified by education, experience, current licensure, or geographic location, with due consideration being given to the parties’ time-sharing schedule and their historical exercise of the time-sharing provided in the parenting plan or relevant order.
2. Except as set forth in subparagraph 1., income may not be imputed based upon:
a. Income records that are more than 5 years old at the time of the hearing or trial at which imputation is sought; or
b. Income at a level that a party has never earned in the past, unless recently degreed, licensed, certified, relicensed, or recertified and thus qualified for, subject to geographic location, with due consideration of the parties’ existing time-sharing schedule and their historical exercise of the time-sharing provided in the parenting plan or relevant order.
See: Florida Statute 61.30 – Child support guidelines
From Florida Case Law:
in determining a parent’s income for the purpose of determining a parent’s child support obligation, “income can be imputed to an unemployed parent ‘if such unemployment … is found by the court to be voluntary on that parent’s part.’ ” Dep’t of Revenue v. Llamas, 196 So. 3d 1267, 1268 (Fla. 1st DCA 2016) (quoting § 61.30(2)(b)). “In determining how much income to impute to a voluntarily unemployed parent, ‘the employment potential and probable earnings level of the parent shall be determined based upon his or her recent work history, occupational qualifications, and prevailing earnings level in the community if such information is available.’ ” Id. “A court may impute income to a party who has no income or is earning less than is available to him based upon a showing that the party has the capability to earn more by the use of his best efforts.” Koeppel v. Holyszko, 643 So. 2d 72, 75 (Fla. 2d DCA 1994).
See: Mirabella v. Mirabella – 301 So.3d 1065
- Calculating Child Support in Florida and Receiving the Support Your Child Needs
- How an Experienced Child Support Lawyer Can Help Your Family
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