Support awards in a family law case are generally made based upon the actual income of the parties involved in the proceeding.
However, often times it becomes necessary to impute income to either the husband or the wife, if either of them are underemployed or intentionally making themselves unemployed.
Who has the burden of proof when it comes to imputing income in situations like this; the husband, the wife, or the judge?
The answer is simple. The individual who seeks to impute income to the other spouse has the burden of proof. He or she must prove to the court by way of competent and substantial evidence that there is a sufficient basis to impute income to the other.
In the case of Mudafort v. Lee, 62 So 3d 1196 (Fla. 4th DCA 2011), the court was called upon to make a determination regarding the imputation of income. Although there was no dispute that the wife had voluntarily quit her job, since she was relocating, the question in this case was whether or not she was under employed in her new job.
In applying the particular facts as set forth in this cae, the court stated that the husband did not meet his burden to entitle him to impute income to his wife.