New York Court Examines Imputed Income in Child Support Cases

In New York, when determining whether to impose child support calculations, the courts will assess, among other things, the parties’ income. In doing so, the court will not only evaluate the parties’ stated income but may also impute income to them based on the evidence of record. This was demonstrated in a recent New York ruling issued in a child support case, in which the court explained the grounds for imputing income to a party. If you need assistance navigating a child support dispute, it is wise to meet with a New York child support lawyer promptly.

Factual Background

It is reported that the parties got married in 1994 and had two children. The wife initiated divorce proceedings in May 2016, leading to a nonjury trial in December 2017 to address various issues such as custody, child support, parental access, equitable distribution, and counsel fees. The trial court imputed an annual income of $72,000 to the husband for the purpose of calculating child support. As a result, the court ordered the husband to pay $1,384.10 per month in basic child support and 66% of the children’s unreimbursed undergraduate college and medical expenses. Subsequently, the court entered a judgment of divorce, which the husband appealed.

Imputed Income in New York Child Support Cases

On appeal, the defendant argued that the trial court erred in imputing income to him. The court ultimately disagreed and affirmed the trial court ruling. In its decision, the court explained that trial courts have significant discretion in imputing income for child support purposes and are not bound by the parties’ financial representations.

Specifically, the court may impute income higher than alleged when a party’s financial account is deemed unreliable. In the subject case, the trial court’s decision to impute an annual income of $72,000 to the husband was based on the husband’s own admissions, as demonstrated by the record.

The court further explained that while the law allows for deductions of unreimbursed employee business expenses in child support calculations, provided they don’t reduce personal expenditures, such deductions are only allowed when proven, typically through tax returns with supporting records and receipts. Here, the court found that the husband’s claim of unreimbursed business expenses was not substantiated by adequate proof, as required by law. As the husband failed to demonstrate his actual business expenses, if any, the court affirmed the trial court’s ruling.

Talk to a Dedicated New York Attorney

Pursuant to New York law, parties must provide for their children financially, which, in many cases in which parents share custody of a child, means that one parent will be obligated to pay child support. If you have questions about your rights with regard to child support, it is prudent to talk to an attorney as soon as possible. Ksenia Rudyuk is a dedicated New York child support lawyer who can advise you of your options and aid you in pursuing a favorable outcome. You can contact Ms. Rudyuk via the form online or at 212-706-2001 to set up a meeting.

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