Articles Tagged with “Imputation of Income”

In Bengisu v. Bengisu, the Fourth District Court of Appeals reversed and remanded a Florida divorce court’s decision awarding the Wife temporary child support and alimony. The Wife filed a petition for dissolution of marriage with two minor children in the Florida divorce Court. Subsequent to filing for dissolution of marriage, the Wife also filed a motion seeking temporary child support and alimony. The Broward County divorce court awarded the Wife temporary support in the amount of $5,500 per month, and the Husband appealed.

At a hearing on the motion for temporary child support and alimony, the court looked at the parties’ financial affidavits as well as heard their direct testimony. The Wife’s financial affidavit listed that she was unemployed, had monthly expenses of $11,898.00 and a net worth of $744,123.00. The Husband’s financial affidavit listed he was a lawyer employed as a solo practitioner, that he had a net monthly income of $2,585.00, total monthly expenses of $4,886.58 and a monthly deficit of $2,720.29. He listed a net worth of $322,230.00.

In her direct testimony, the Wife told the court that the household expenses were $12,600 per month, that her Husband was responsible for all of the bills and that throughout the marriage the couple accrued no debt to pay their monthly expenses. Additionally, the Wife explained that her Husband left his solo practice to work for a law firm for four months leading up to the divorce and, while there, his salary was $85,000. Additionally, the Wife’s accountant testified that based on the financials she needed $5,500.00 per month during the pendency of the divorce and that he believed the Husband’s tax returns did not accurately reflect the Husband’s real income. The Husband testified that the reason the couple did not have any debt was because his parents had helped pay for their household expenses, but were no longer in a position to continue to provide this assistance. At the conclusion of the hearing the trial court awarded the Wife $5,500 per month in temporary support.

In Scarti v Scarti, the Fourth District Court of Appeals recently reviewed a Florida family law court’s final judgment of paternity where the father challenged the amount he owed to the mother for retroactive child support. In particular, the father appealed the amount of income that the trial court imputed to the mother. In determining the amount the father had to pay to the mother pursuant to the child support guidelines, the court imputed $2,031 net monthly income to the mother.

The mother had a high school GED. In 2004, she earned between $1,000 and $4,500 a month operating her own landscaping company. She also testified that the most she ever earned in a year was $22,000. Her only other work experience was as a waitress at the age of seventeen and working in her mother’s flower shop. Based on her education and prior work history the court imputed $2,031 per month which totals $24,372, more than the mother earned in a given year.

The Fourth District affirmed the imputation of income to the mother in the amount of $2,031 and found that this was not an abuse of discretion.