Imputation for purposes of alimony was recently decided by the Florida Court of Appeal in a case captioned Cura v. Cura. In Cura v. Cura, the Husband filed an appeal challenging an order awarding temporary alimony and child support. After a seventeen year marriage, the husband and wife separated. When the parties separated they were living at the husband’s mother’s home in Palm Beach County, Florida. The wife obtained her own residence and filed for divorce. She sought an award of temporary alimony and child support. During the course of the marriage, the parties enjoyed a lavish lifestyle. Immediately before the filing for divorce, the parties sold a valuable piece of property. The husband then sold a second piece of property. Finally, the husband took out a large mortgage on a third piece of property. The husband also sold a number of investments.
At a hearing, the Husband was unable to locate the whereabouts of any of the revenues from the aforementioned transactions. The husband claimed that he had no access to funds and was unable to obtain employment. The wife alleged that the Husband continued to enjoy a lavish lifestyle. She also contended that the Husband received gifts from his mother and was voluntarily unemployed.
In making an award of alimony and child support, the Florida Court of Appeal ruled that a trial court may impute income to the husband. Imputing income requires people who are able to earn an income to do so. Unless the payor is mentally or physically incapacitated, earnings are to be imputed to an underemployed or unemployed person if such underemployment or unemployment is voluntary. If there is not sufficient evidence to decide the amount to impute, the spouse is presumed to have the capacity to earn the amount that that spouse historically earned. The trial court is to consider the payor’s job prospects, qualifications, recent work history, and the prevailing level of earnings in the community. Additionally, the court is to consider relevant economic factors.
To speak with an alimony attorney in Palm Beach Gardens , Florida, contact Matthew Lane & Associates, P.A. at (561) 651-7273.