Matthew Lane & Associates, P.A.

North Palm Beach Divorce Lawyer; Child Support; Income Imputation

In a divorce proceeding, indefinite support from a parties' parents can be imputed to a parent. In Steele v. Love, the Florida Court of Appeal recently stated: "§ 61.30(2)(a)(13), Florida Statutes (2012), specifically lists "[rjeimbursed expenses or in kind payments to the extent that they reduce living expenses" as gross income to be considered in determining child support. Generally, gifts received from a party's parents are irrelevant for child support determination. Vorcheimer v. Vorcheimer, 780 So. 2d 1018, 1019 (Fla. 4th DCA 2001) (citing Shiveley v. Shiveley, 635 So. 2d 1021 (Fla. 1st DCA 1994)). However, regular periodic payments to a child by a parent are considered income for child-support determination. Ordini v. Ordini, 701 So. 2d 663, 666 (Fla. 4th DCA 1997) (citing Cooper v. Kahn, 696 So. 2d 1186 (Fla. 3d DCA 1997)). Here, the former husband was unemployed but was starting a business that had not yielded any income. His parents paid for his living expenses for the nineteen months between the filing of the petition for dissolution of marriage and the trial... 

While the former husband's father testified that he may not be able to continue these payments indefinitely, he and his wife would continue to support his son as long as they could. They wanted to insure their son and granddaughter were healthy and happy, and had a safe and secure environment in which to live. The evidence therefore supported the trial court's imputation of $2,600 in income to the former husband... In determining child support, a court "may only impute a level of income supported by the evidence of...probable earnings based on," among other things, the history of income. Alich v. Clapp, 926 So. 2d 467,468 (Fla. 4th DCA 2006) (citing Konsoulas v. Konsoulas, 904 So. 2d 440,443 (Fla. 4th DCA 2005)). The court's determination must be supported by competent, substantial evidence, not "outdated income figures." Id. (citing § 61.30(2)(b), Fla. Stat. (2001), and Wendel v. Wendel, 852 So. 2d 277,284 (Fla. 2d DCA 2003))...FN1 We find no error in the court's refusal to impute additional income to the former wife from other family-owned businesses. The testimony reflected income in 2009, 2010, and 2011, but no evidence that the former wife would continue to receive that income in the future.

To speak with a divorce lawyer in North Palm Beach, Florida, contact Matthew Lane & Associates, P.A. at (561) 651-7273.

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