On imputing income for spousal support and child support: what does that mean?

ON IMPUTING INCOME: Well, the imputation of income (is “imputation” a real word? It just sounds so good!), but yea, when the court imputes income, the court is basically saying this: Sir/Ma’am, this court understands that you have no money. But we don’t understand how you can live as well as you live for someone with no money. Therefore, based on your lifestyle, we, the court, will come up with a dollar value of the amount we think it would require for the average person to live as well as you do, and we are going to

Courts can impute income to parents for child support

 use that number to set your child and spousal support, and you are going to pay it or face the consequences. Do you understand?

So what that is basically doing is calling a pretender on his or her crap. You’re not broke if you are living in a home that requires mortgage payments of $3,000 per month – especially when these payments are current. You are not broke when you are driving around in a $50,000 car. You are not broke when you routinely spend thousands of dollars per year on posh hotels and fancy vacations. You are not broke if you take private jets and drive around in expensive “corporate vehicles.” You are not broke if you can afford cosmetic surgery procedures.  You are not broke if you are buying and wearing fancy designer clothes. You are not broke if you voluntarily quit your job to avoid paying support. You are not broke if you create a business so you can shield your  income and then declare all this money in your taxes, but profess to be personally insolvent.

The court will “impute” income from you under these circumstances. The court basically is saying “we have no idea how you afford all this stuff, but if you can afford it, you can afford to pay your child and spousal support.” Then the court will put a dollar value on all your accoutrements. It may seem arbitrary, but it really has a basis in reason based on your lifestyle. That is what “imputation” is.  🙂

Is imputation a word?

I should really say that that is what it means to “impute” income.

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