What is Imputed Income?

Imputed Income is a method for the court to assign an income to a party for the purpose of child support, spousal support, or attorney fees. The court will impute income if a party is unemployed or under-employed. The Law Office of David C. Stone employs various evaluators throughout the four counties and our office has been successful in imputing income to various professions.

Normally, income is imputed to an individual who is unemployed and is not working at jobs that are available. As an example, minimum wage is $1,300.00 per month and the court assumes that every person could work at a minimum wage job. Also, an individual does not have to work; however, case law indicates that the court should impute income when an individual is purposefully not employed. The rationale is to support the minor children.

Imputed income can be used when an individual is self-employed, and if she/he was not self-employed, earnings would be greater. To impute income, there needs to be an opportunity plus ability. Therefore, not only does the person need to be qualified but there also has to be a position available. If a party wants to impute more than minimum wage to the other party, they must plan on a vocational examination of that party so as to have the admissible evidence needed to impute income.