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How to Impute Income

 KRS 403.212 provides for child support and determining income for purposes of calculating child support as well as using the child support guidelines. 403.212 (a) Defines income:  "Income" means actual gross income of the parent if employed to full capacity or potential income if unemployed or underemployed.  If a litigant is determined to be voluntarily unemployed or underemployed, then the court must impute income to determine earning capacity. This can be done in a number of ways.  The easiest is the person underemployed that has a job working part time.  The court will routinely take the hourly wage and impute to that person a 40 hour work week instead of the shorter (15-20-24-32 hours/week) number of hours actually worked. 403.212 subsection (d) provides:  If a parent is voluntarily unemployed or underemployed, child support shall be calculated based on a determination of potential income, except that a determination of potential income shall not be made for a parent who is physically or mentally incapacitated or is caring for a very young child, age three (3) or younger, for whom the parents owe a joint legal responsibility. Potential income shall be determined based upon employment potential and probable earnings level based on the obligor's or obligee's recent work history, occupational qualifications, and prevailing job opportunities and earnings levels in the community. A court may find a parent to be voluntarily unemployed or underemployed without finding that the parent intended to avoid or reduce the child support obligation. Imputed is included in 403.12(e) "Imputed child support obligation" means the amount of child support the parent would be required to pay from application of the child support guidelines. This can be done with or without expert witness testimony.  While expert witness testimony is preferred, it is often financially irresponsible to hire an expert to help to impute income to one of the parties. If you have questions about child support or employment and imputation of income, contact your attorney.  For consultation and representation in Northern Kentucky for divorce, custody or support, contact the Bouldin Law Firm at 859-581-6453 or email at [email protected].

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