Addressing Imputed Income in NJ Child Support Cases
Imputed Income is Assigned by Family Courts to Non-Custodial Parents to Ensure They Fulfill Child Support Responsibilities Despite Unemployment or Underemployment.
When a couple with a family divorces in New Jersey, the family court is focused on ensuring that the children’s needs will be met financially. Child support is the means through which non-custodial spouses are held accountable for contributing to expenses related to their children’s food, housing, medical, and educational expenses. Most parents work hard to make ends meet so they can keep up with child support, knowing it is in their children’s best interests. However, this can be difficult in an unpredictable economy. Sometimes, a parent’s economic situation adversely impacts their ability to support their children fully financially after divorce.
Unfortunately, in other cases, they shirk their duty, willingly taking a lower-paying job or choosing to remain unemployed so they will not have to pay child support. In these cases, the court will step in and impute income. Contact The Montanari Law Group today if you’re up against an imputed income placement even though you’ve legitimately looked for and been unsuccessful in finding employment, or if you need help securing unpaid child support. Read on to learn more about how courts determine imputed income and how it could affect your child support responsibilities.
Significance of Imputed Income in NJ Child Support Cases
Imputed income is an income assigned to certain non-custodial parents by the family court, used to determine your child support payment responsibility. It is assigned to individuals who are willingly unemployed or underemployed and cannot prove that their situation exists despite efforts to obtain gainful employment. The purpose of imputed income is to discourage individuals from evading obtaining employment aligned with their education and training as a way of avoiding paying child support.
Factors Influencing Income Imputation in New Jersey Custody and Child Support Hearings
The New Jersey Superior Court: Family Part judge in charge of one’s custody and child support hearing will look at various factors to determine if income needs to be imputed. They may look at the non-custodial parent’s prior employment to determine a comparable income for their level. They may look to the market to determine the income of someone with the individual’s training and experience. Or for someone without extensive training or experience, they may look at what the average income of a person working 40 hours a week at minimum wage is in the area.
Influences of Imputed Income on Child Support Payments
Imputed income increases an individual’s child support payment responsibility because it inflates their earnings in order to calculate payment. As such, the child’s financial needs are met regardless of the fact that the individual does not have the gainful employment to match such a payment. This is only done when a person willfully denies employment in order to avoid paying child support.
Legal Strategies for Contesting Imputed Income in NJ Family Court
Imputed income is a reasonable approach to ensuring that a child’s financial needs are met in New Jersey. However, there are many cases in which an individual has attempted to find employment and has been unable, or is otherwise unable to work. In such cases, it is important that that individual seek legal representation from a child support attorney to contest the family court’s issuance of imputed income for purposes of determining a child support payment. For multiple reasons, a court’s calculation based on the market area or an individual’s prior employment may not fairly reflect a person‘s work capacity at this time. In these cases, it is important to seek legal support.
Contact An Attorney at Montanari Law Group for Questions about Imputed Income for Child Support in New Jersey
A child support attorney at The Montanari Law Group can help you gather the documentation and evidence needed to prove that your unemployment or underemployment is not the result of a willing evasion of responsibility to pay child support. We will guide you through the process of preparing your case and help you gather evidence, such as updated CVs, a list of companies with whom you have interviewed and been denied, and letters from those companies confirming this.
Our team at The Montanari Law Group has a long-standing repertoire of support and successful representation of divorcing parents in Woodland Park, Clifton, Hawthorne, Hackensack, Totowa, Paramus, and areas throughout Passaic, Hudson, Essex, and Bergen County. Our attorneys are committed to ensuring that you can support the financial needs of your child while respecting your financial capacities and your attempts at employment in this economic environment. Contact us today at (973) 233-4396 for a free consultation regarding your child support case.