Westchester County Child Support Lawyers
child support lawyers we represent both
non-custodial parents. The subject of this article is imputation of income for child
Typically, child support calculations in New York State are made pursuant
to the statutory Child Support Standards Act (CSSA) guidelines. In setting
child support there may be a basis to "cap" the child support
payments according to income or deviate from the
child support guidelines.
In some situations a non-custodial parent hides income in order to pay
less child support. This is usually done by hiding cash income, remaining
unemployed, quitting a job or taking other steps to minimize earning potential.
How to Impute Income
The New York Family Courts will review financial information carefully
to determine if income should be imputed. As child support lawyers, we
demand financial disclosure, issue subpoenas, call witnesses to testify
and use other discovery methods to determine the true income of the non-custodial parent.
The first, and the most obvious way to argue to the New York Family Court
to impute income, is to do an expense/income analysis. For example, a
non-custodial parent cannot cry poverty while they are driving around
in an expensive car or have just taken a vacation.
Next an inquiry has to be made into what could or should the non-custodial
parent be earning based upon previous earnings and/or earning potential.
The Family Court will consider it strange if a non-custodial parent claims
to earn $50,000.00 a year when for the past two years their earnings have
been $100,000.00 per year. This is a "red flag" for our child
support attorneys and for the Courts. Likewise, if a non-custodial parent
has a master degree but claims they can only work in a lower paying job
will also be a "red flag" for our attorneys and the Courts.
As child support lawyers we look to these factors and other factors to
prove to the Court that additional income should be imputed.
When Will Income Not Be Imputed?
Obviously, income will not be imputed if you are not properly prepared
for Court or make illogical arguments.
The Court will also not impute income if there is a legitimate reason why
a non-custodial parent is not earning to their full potential, such as
an injury or other documented disability. The Courts will also not impute
income if a non-custodial parent has been fired or laid off due to no
fault of their own and cannot find employment. If the non-custodial parent
is not working the Family Court generally holds the parent to a high burden
to prove they cannot find employment. The logic behind this high burden
is that children are entitled to financial support from their parents.
General claims of an inability to find employment without substantial
supporting documentation are rarely considered.
Westchester County Family Court Lawyers
For example, recently, the child support lawyers at
Riebling, Proto & Sachs, LLP convinced a White Plains Support Magistrate that the non-custodial parent's
income should be imputed when it was found that the non-custodial parent
was deferring a regular bonus from his employer to avoid a higher income.
Luckily for the custodial parent we were able to subpoena records and
our lawyers told our client to search for documents as to previously paid bonuses.
Preparation is very important in any case especially a case where income
needs to be imputed. With preparation and investigation a proper amount
of child support can be calculated.
In New York State both parents are required to submit to the Court and
exchange basic financial documents. This includes a financial disclosure
affidavit, paystubs and tax returns. This is the foundation for imputing income.
Westchester County Child Support Lawyers
If you or a loved one is part of a
child support case call our
Family Law Lawyers today for a free initial consultation. We can further explain how income
is imputed and work with you for your specific needs.
Our child support attorneys regularly appear in the Family Courts of Westchester
County and the surrounding counties. We have the experience to fight for
your rights before any Support Magistrate or Family Court Judge.
Call our office today.
We can be reached by
e-mail or telephone. Call today for your
free consultation. (914) 946-4808.