Last year the Florida Legislature made more changes to the child support statute. Among those changes was a change to the rules about imputed income. It seems many people out there are confused about when the Census data income kicks in.
Let's review what is the same, namely when income is imputed. That only happens when a parent is voluntarily unemployed or underemployed. If you can prove the voluntary nature of unemployment, that's only step one. The next step is to prove how much they should be making. That's done with expert testimony at a trial.
The new statute deals with a different situation - when the other parent refuses to participate in the proceedings. Since you need the income of both parents to compute child support, when one parent refuses to provide his or her income on a financial affidavit, the other parent was often stuck. Now when a parent refuses or fails to provide income information, the Census data for average income can be used to calculate support. That's the appropriate use of the average income part of the new Florida child support law.
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