Child support and spousal support can be highly contentious issues in any family law case, especially when one party is not working but has the ability to work. In this type of situation, you can request that the court impute income to your spouse or your child’s other parent when it is calculating child support and/or spousal support. The Southern California spousal support attorneys at Wallin & Klarich can successfully convince the court that imputing income to the other party in your case is not only fair, but necessary.
When Can the Court Impute Income?
Under California case law, a family law court has the discretion and ability to substitute earning capacity for actual income in applying the guideline formula for child support and for determining spousal support (IRMO LaBass & Munsee (1997) 56 Cal.App.4th 1331, 1337; Irmo Cheriton (2001) 92 Cal.App.4th 269, 308).
In order for the court to impute an earning capacity to the other party, the court must make these three findings:
- The other party’s ability to work by taking into account factors such as age, employment history, education and health;
- The other party’s willingness to work as shown by good faith, diligent and meaningful attempts to secure employment; and
- The other party’s opportunity to work as shown by evidence of employers who are willing to hire persons who have the ability of the party in question.
In some cases, where a party has the means to pay, the party wanting to impute an earning capacity on the other party hires a vocational expert. A vocational expert testifies and presents evidence to court of whether the party in question has been searching diligently for employment, has the ability to earn a certain annual income, and has found a specific number of jobs within a specific distance from the party in question’s home.
However, there are many cases when you cannot afford a vocational expert. When this happens, it is important that you and your Southern California family law attorney do all that is possible in order to ensure the court makes the findings listed above and will impute an earning capacity to the other party. You and your attorney will need to search for employers, present evidence of how much annual income the other party can earn, and demonstrate that the other party is not making a good faith effort to find employment.
Call a Southern California Spousal Support Attorney Today
If you are currently facing a family law case that involves child support and/or spousal support, you need to retain an experienced and knowledge Southern California spousal support attorney from Wallin & Klarich. Our attorneys understand what you are going through and can help you with your family law issues. The reliable attorneys at Wallin & Klarich have dealt with imputation of income issues before and we know how to get the best outcome in your case.
Wallin & Klarich has offices in Orange County, Los Angeles, San Diego, Riverside, San Bernardino, Ventura, West Covina, Victorville, Torrance and Sherman Oaks so we can help you no matter where you are located.
Call us at (888) 749-7428 today. We will be there when you call.
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