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I want to know how in California’s family court impute income. For example, I was out of work for 11 years. I have a degree in a

Irvine, CA |

I also need to ask to increase my child support and I don’t know if it can increase my imputed income even if I can’t find job and looking for job) . So, would you please give me through information about imputing income.

Attorney Answers 2


From your question, it appears that a Court previously imputed income to you. A Court can impute income to a party based on evidence properly brought before the Court demonstrating the party's "ability to earn" (i.e., education, training and experience in a particular field) and the party's "opportunity to earn" (usually a job market survey which reflects that jobs are available in that field for which you are qualified to work, and the salaries offered for such jobs; the case of LaBass and Munsie allowed the use of Classified Ads to show that opportunities to earn exist, but not all judges allow Classified Ad evidence). The best way for a party to get the Court to impute income to the other party is to have the unemployed party submit to a Vocational Examination (pursuant to a Stipulation and Order, or pursuant to an Order after Hearing on an OSC or Motion seeking the Vocational Examination), and to have the expert testify at the support hearing. Your question didn't indicate what field your degree was in, or what training or experience you have - in that field or others, and you didn't indicate why you were out of work for 11 years. If you previously claimed to the Court that you couldn't find a job in that field, you left yourself vulnerable to imputation of income in other fields in which you had prior education, training or experience. If you are unemployed, you need to make good-faith, consistent efforts to find employment in areas in which you have education and/or training and/or experience, and keep records of your efforts and their results, to offer into evidence at the support hearing, to counter your ex's efforts to have the Court impute income to you. You would best retain an experienced Family Law Attorney to represent you. Child Support is based on California's Mandatory Guideline. To increase your Child Support if you are unemployed (following a prior imputation of income to you), you would need to demonstrate that your ex is earning more than he earned at the time of the last Child Support Order, or to demonstrate that you have made good-faith, consistent efforts to find employment, as noted above, sufficient for the Court to decline to impute income to you. The Court could look at areas other than those which you have prior education, training, and experience, such as minimum wage jobs - so you should apply for those jobs as well. If the other party sought and obtained a Vocational Examination, you certainly should apply for the jobs which the expert's report indicated are available for which you are qualified, and if your applications are rejected, you would need to testify and adduce evidence of those applications and rejections as well. Good luck.

Please note that this answer does not constitute legal advice, and should not be relied on, as each situation is fact specific, and it is not possible to evaluate a legal problem without a comprehensive consultation and review of all the facts and court pleadings filed in the case. This answer does not create an attorney-client relationship.

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A 730 evaluation to determine your imputed income is very costly, a few thousand dollars. The issue of imputed income depends a lot on the court you are in front of. The court at times will impute minimum wage. It also depends on what your work and educational background is, if you have been trying to seek employment and your age. If you don't have an attorney, it wouldn't hurt to speak to one in your jurisdiction to get a better idea of what the outcome might be.

Any answer to questions is not meant to be con screwed as legal advise and no attorney client relationship has formed. In order for an attorney to give legal advise, The attorney would need to have an opportunity to ask specific questions from a full and complete disclosure of the underlying facts involved in the question asked.

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