Imputation of Income to a Custodial Parent, Must be in a Child’s Best Interest.

The appellate court in Ficke considered whether the Orange County trial court’s imputation of $13,000 of monthly income to the wife who earned less than $300 a month, was a valid imputation for purposes of both child support and spousal support.

FACTUAL BACKGROUND LEADING TO THE DISSOLUTION
The parties were married for more than 15 years. There were two minor children–16 and 17 years of age. Both parties had assets of more than $1,000,000 at the time of the divorce. In addition, the husband had more than $700,000 of separate assets. At the time of the divorce wife turned down a job which earned more than $100,000 a year to work at a start-up business which would allow her to spend more time with her children. Her husband earned more than $8,000 a month at the time of the divorce.

DIVORCE PROCEEDINGS
The Orange County trial judge imputed an income of more than $13,000 a month to the wife, because she earned more than $200,000 a year during the marriage and turned down a job offer of more than $100,000 a year. The judge ordered the wife to pay the husband spousal support in the amount of $700. The trial court also ordered that the husband pay the wife $1,368 in child support. The net result of the payment would be that the father owed the mother less than the full amount of child support.

APPEAL OF THE DISSOLUTION ORDER
The mother challenged the imputation of $13,000 a month in income to her, because the court did not make a finding that the imputation of income would benefit the children. The appellate court agreed with the mother stating that in order to impute income to a custodial parent, the court must make an express finding that it is in the best interest of the children to impute income.

If you need legal advice and are looking for a family law lawyer in Orange County to address a support issue in the dissolution of a marriage or any other divorce matter such as legal separation, annulment, spousal support and/or property division, please consider our law office in your divorce attorney search. We are located in Laguna Hills right off Lake Forest exit to both the 405 and 5 freeway.

Treviño Law, Inc.
23151 Moulton Parkway
Laguna Hills, California
Phone (949) 716-2102

Visit us at
www.LawintheOC.com

Although the posting of this information can be considered free legal advice for an Orange County divorce, it does not guarantee that there are other facts which may play a significant part in a dissolution. Circumstances in a divorce case may alter the required action and analysis taken by a family law attorney in California.

Please note that this legal advice does not establish a family law attorney-client relationship.

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