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Imputation of Income for Primary Custodial Parent

Although the court can typically impute income to a parent in a California child custody to honor the legislative intent that both parents are required to support their minor children, a recent case turned this rule on it's head. The recent case of IRMO Ficke held that a Trial court in calculating child support abused its discretion by imputing income to the custodial parent-—who was drawing negligible income from a start-up business--without an express finding supported by substantial evidence that the imputation would benefit the children. This recent case makes it imperative to the decision of who is the custodial parent.

In the past, the court would likely have imputed minimum wage income to the wife which would have lowered husband's obligation to pay child support. However, the court reasoned that a primary custodial parent has less of an opportunity to earn in light of the fact that they are responsible for the day to day needs of the children. This would make even more since if the children were of their tender years (pre-kindergarten), but in the presnet case, the children were both teenagers who attended school full time.

Please keep in mind in selecting an attorney that Family Law is an ever-changing area of law that requires an attorney like Paul A. Eads of Covina to not only inform you of the changing law, but also to apply it to your case. Please call us today for first class service.

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