How can “imputation of income” impact the alimony amount?

On Behalf of | Apr 19, 2024 | Alimony |

Divorce can significantly alter the lives of all family members, especially if there is a sole breadwinner in the household. In these scenarios, the non-working spouse can face financial challenges during and after divorce. Fortunately, the law has provisions to address these circumstances, such as ordering alimony when necessary. The court usually takes an active role when determining the alimony’s arrangement and amount.

A judge would review the case and other factors before evaluating the divorcing couple’s needs and income. If only one party worked during the marriage, the court may impute income to create a fair setup.

What is “imputation of income”?

Imputation of income happens when the court assigns an income amount to the non-working spouse based on their employability and qualifications. By getting this value, the judge can use it to determine the alimony’s amount. Still, there are other considerations when calculating alimony, including how much time the non-working spouse spent without a job for the family’s sake.

After imputing income, the court can also gauge what type of alimony arrangement is most appropriate considering the divorcing couple’s situation. The judge may order a temporary setup that can last until the non-working spouse finds a source of income and becomes self-supporting. Other times, a longer term is necessary, especially if the non-working spouse needs to undergo vocational training and other forms of education.

Making reasonable support arrangements

Each family has unique needs and circumstances, which could come into play during divorce proceedings. If a non-working spouse risks becoming broke because of the divorce, the law can address these concerns appropriately. However, the court only orders alimony on a case-to-case basis, making legal counsel vital even before kicking off the divorce process.