By David L. Duff of Duff & Kronfeld, P.C. posted in Family Law on Wednesday, July 26, 2017.
When one spouse is either voluntarily unemployed, or is under-employed, Virginia law does allow the other spouse to take the position that income should properly be imputed to such spouse when addressing a determination of spouse and/or child support. Stated differently, Virginia law will generally not allow a spouse to refrain from working at a paying job, or working at something less than his/her earning capacity; and thereby cause the other spouse to pay an increased amount of support.
The spouse who wants income imputed, bears the burden of proving the particular education, skills and prior work experience of the other spouse; the availability of jobs in this geographical area for which the spouse would be qualified; and, the income range for those jobs available to the spouse. Since this information is seldom available to, nor readily accessible by, the average person, most attorneys will recommend hiring a “Vocational Consultant” to provide expert testimony on this issue.
A party seeking the imputation of income to the other party needs to be aware, however, that such income imputation will also have to take into consideration any additional education or specialized training, and the time and cost for the same, that may be required for the other party to truly qualify for any given job position. In addition, if there are young children involved, then income imputation to a party must also take into account the cost of providing childcare for those children while that party is at work.
If you find yourself in a situation where you believe that income should be imputed to your spouse, whether for purposes of spousal support or child support, contact an attorney at Duff Kronfeld & Marquardt P.C. at (703) 591-7475 for a complimentary, 30-minute telephone consultation to discuss your options.