In many family law cases
support issues, the amount of
income used in calculating Spousal Support and Child Support is often disputed.
This is because either spouse may not be making diligent efforts to find
work or obtain a level of
employment commensurate with their skills and ability to find better work.
In such cases, one might argue that the other
party should be imputed (assigned) with a level of income for the purposes of
determining the proper support levels. This can involve showing evidence
of the parties' education, training, job history and/or skills, along
with evidence of various employment opportunities on the market that are
This kind of process can also involve presenting the testimony of a vocational
expert who can conduct an interview and testing of the party to assess
their employability. The vocational expert will then prepare a report
and often testify in court as to the amount of income that the party would
be receiving had the party been making diligent efforts to obtain good
In other cases, a party may be hiding income, such as the relatively common
practice of not reporting payments received in cash. A careful investigation
is needed to present evidence of such fraudulent practices. It may involve
subpoenaing bank records, employment records, cash receipts, conducting
interviews of witnesses, and so forth.
The investigation may simply involve looking at the expenses the party
is paying on a monthly basis, and showing that their reported level of
income is not sufficient to cover those expenses.
Once all of the interviews and investigations are completed, the court
may be asked to consider the evidence in determining the parties'
true income and assess
imputed income as the party's actual income when calculating temporary support.