In a divorce proceeding involving alimony, a spouse claiming income should be imputed to an unemployed or underemployed spouse must show that the unemployed or underemployed spouse is employable and that jobs are available. In order to determine the amount of income to impute, the Court must consider the spouses’ recent work history, occupational qualifications, and prevailing earnings in community for the class of jobs available. In making an alimony award, the trial court is to utilize the prevailing income in the community to impute income to the payor and not income that could be earned by the payor from a relocation. In Broga v. Brogathe Florida Court of Appeal recently stated that income is imputed to an unemployed or underemployed individual if such unemployment or underemployment is found by the court to be voluntary. If the trial court finds that a person’s unemployment or underemployment is voluntary, the probable earnings level of the payor should be determined based upon his or her recent work history, his or her occupational qualifications, and the prevailing earning level in the community in which the payor lives.
The prevailing income in the community in which the payor lives, not income that could have been earned if the payor relocated to another community, is to be used by the Court to establish the appropriate amount of imputed income for purposes of making an award of alimony.
To speak with a Jupiter, Florida divorce attorney about alimony questions that yo may have, contact Matthew Lane & Associates, P.A. at (561) 651-7273.