Intentional Underemployment in Texas Divorce [2023]

Last Updated on August 28, 2023 by Turner Thornton

What is Intentional Underemployment in Texas Divorce?

Intentional underemployment occurs when an individual deliberately reduces their income to avoid paying a higher amount of child or spousal support. Texas courts may impute income to an individual who is found to be intentionally underemployed or unemployed to ensure that child support payments are made according to the Texas Family Code guidelines.

Imputation of Income in Texas Family Law

Imputation of income, or imputed income, refers to the process where a court attributes income to a person who is intentionally underemployed or unemployed, considering their potential earning capacity. This is done to calculate a more accurate child or spousal support amount. Imputed income considers factors like the individual’s education, work experience, and the local job market to determine the income that they could be earning if they were fully employed.

Impute Income Meaning and Application

When a court imputes income, it means they are attributing a certain amount of income to a person for the purpose of calculating child or spousal support. This can be either good or bad, depending on the situation.

If the person is genuinely unable to work or find employment, imputing income could lead to unjust financial strain. However, if it’s a case of intentional underemployment or the person is avoiding work, imputing income can help ensure that they meet their financial obligations to their children or former spouse.

How to Get a Judge to Impute Income

To convince a judge to impute income, you need to provide sufficient evidence that the other party is engaged in intentional underemployment or unemployed. This may include documentation of their work history, education, job offers, or other factors indicating their potential earning capacity. A family law attorney can help gather and present this evidence to the court.

Imputing Income for Spousal Support and Child Support

Imputing income can be applied to both spousal support and child support cases in Texas. The process for imputing income is similar for both types of support, as the court will assess the individual’s earning capacity and job market conditions to determine an appropriate amount of imputed income.

How Does Imputed Income Work?

Once the court determines that intentional underemployment is involved or other person is unemployed, they will analyze various factors to estimate the person’s potential income. This imputed income is then used in calculating child support and to calculate the appropriate amount of child or spousal support that the individual is responsible for paying.

intentional underemployment

FAQs: Intentional Underemployment & Imputed Income

The primary purpose of imputing income is to ensure that a parent or former spouse meets their financial obligations for child or spousal support, even if they are intentionally underemployed or unemployed.

Yes, imputed income can be challenged by providing evidence that demonstrates the individual’s inability to earn the imputed income due to legitimate reasons beyond tax imputed income, such as disability, job market conditions, or other extenuating circumstances.

Imputed income is calculated by considering factors such as the individual’s education, work experience, and the local job market to estimate the amount of income they could potentially earn if they were fully employed.

Courts consider factors such as the individual’s work history, education, job market conditions, and any offers of employment when imputing income for child or spousal support calculations.

Yes, imputed income can be adjusted if there is a significant change in circumstances, such as a change in the individual’s earning capacity or the financial needs of the parent’s income, child or former spouse.

In some cases, a court may apply imputed income retroactively to cover unpaid support obligations. This decision is made on a case-by-case basis and depends on the specific circumstances of each case.

Imputed income is included in the calculation of the non-custodial parent’s monthly child support obligation. By including imputed other income for child support amount, the court ensures that the non-custodial parent pays an appropriate amount of child support based on their potential earning capacity.

Similar to child support calculations, imputed income is considered when determining the amount of spousal support the individual is responsible for paying. The court will take into account the imputed income when determining an appropriate amount of spousal support based on the individual’s earning capacity.

Yes, if there is a significant change in circumstances regarding court-imputed income, such as a change in the individual’s earning capacity or the financial needs of the child or former spouse, a person can request a modification of child support or spousal support based on the imputed income.

A family law attorney can help gather and present evidence to the court that demonstrates intentional underemployment or unemployment, as well as assist in challenging imputed income if the individual believes it is not accurate or fair.

Take Action with Varghese Summersett

If you suspect that your former spouse or the other parent of your child is intentionally underemployed report imputed income or unemployed to avoid paying their fair share of child or spousal support, it’s crucial to act quickly. The experienced family law attorneys at Varghese Summersett can help you navigate the complexities of imputed income and intentional underemployment cases. Call Varghese Summersett today at 817-900-3220 or contact us online to discuss your case.

Turner Thornton
Turner Thornton
Turner Thornton is a well-known family law attorney in Fort Worth who leads the Varghese Summersett Family Law Group. Turner has successfully guided hundreds of individuals and families through the most trying period of their lives as a skilled negotiator and savvy litigator. Turner Thornton concentrates his practice on family law, including divorce, child custody, contempt, and modification cases. He is experienced in handling estates with significant and unique assets that can be difficult to value. He finds amicable resolutions where possible to conserve his client's resources, but knows how to take the gloves off if the situation calls for it. He has had remarkable results in and outside of the courtroom based largely on his ability and desire to understand his clients' needs and guide them on the pathway to what success looks like for them.

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