The Florida Alimony Reform Bill contains a mechanism to impute income to an unemployed spouse or an underemployed spouse. The new Florida alimony statute, as proposed in the Florida Senate, states that if a party is voluntarily unemployed or underemployed, alimony is to be calculated based upon a determination of the unemployed or underemployed spouse’s potential income unless it would be inequitable to do so. Potential income is income which could be earned by a party who uses his or her best efforts. It includes potential income from employment and it includes potential income from the investment of assets or the use of property.
Potential income from employment is income which a party could reasonably expect to earn by working at a full-time job that is locally available, and that is commensurate with his or her education, training, and experience.
Potential income from the investment of assets or the use of property is the income which a party could reasonably be expected to earn from the investment of his or her assets or the use of his or her property in a financially prudent manner.
A party is considered to be underemployed if he or she is not working full-time in a position which is appropriate, based upon his or her education, training and experience, and available in the geographical area of his or her residence. A party is not considered to be underemployed if he or she is enrolled in an educational program that can be reasonably expected to result in a degree or certification within a reasonable period of time, as long as the: (a) educational program is expected to result in higher income within the foreseeable future, (b) is a good faith educational choice based upon the party’s previous education, training, skills, and experience, and (c) immediate employment is available as a result of the educational program being pursued.
To speak with a Florida alimony attorney, contact Matthew Lane & Associates, P.A. at (561) 651-7273.