Saturday, March 17, 2012

Excessive imputed child support

Law prof E. Volokh writes:
Child support law generally requires a parent to pay child support based partly on the amount of income that the parent could reasonably earn (your “imputed income”) — not just the amount the parent is actually earning. So if you could earn $100,000/year, of which you’d have to pay $20,000/year in child support under the standard child support guideline, you can’t lower this child support payment by just quitting work and going to art school, or joining a monastery, or going to work for a nonprofit that only pays you $40,000/year. Your obligations to your child, the theory goes, should be based on what you could earn and not just on what you do earn.
Then he tells of a current case where a US Army soldier had to pay child support based on an imputed income of $136,791, even tho his salary was only $20,000.

The appeals court said that the family court judge should reconsider the imputation because it is much more than the dad could be reasonably assumed to earn outside the military. But the appeals court fails to say the obvious -- that a soldier should only pay ex-wife support based on his actual salary, not what he might be making if acquired a law license and got a job as a high-paid lawyer.

A lawyer writes:
Most child support guidelines are based upon academic surveys of the amounts parents of different income levels spend to support their children, in intact families in which the parents live together. ... So the whole system is deliberately based upon the results of objective studies.
I don't know how anyone could say anything so ridiculous. This man was ordered to pay more than he makes. There is no objective academic surveying saying anything of the kind. The guidelines were based on consultant recommendations who cited bogus research.


Anonymous said...

Imputed income ? Please ... Does the I.R.S. base your taxes on what you should be abe to earn, or what you actually earn ? Does the I.R.S. put you in prison if you lose yor job and can't pay them what you've paid them in the past or "should be able" to pay them ?

I was accused of DV and being a dangerous parent to our child, and they took my child from me until I went to court before judge Kelsay.

The judge told me that if I agreed to pay an evaluator, and brought in all of my tax and banking statements etc. a week later, then he'd allow me to have my daughter for the upcoming weekend. If I didn't agree to both, I wouldn't see my daughter until I did agree to do so. There was no discussion in court that day, about me being a danger as far as a parent or DV, etc.

I suppose that if you give them your financial records, and agree to pay the evaluator, you suddenly become a safer parent for your daughter to be with...? The judge even gave me a longer weekend with my daughter in exchange.

My ex.'s attorney, H. Simonson, and the mediator, Berrenge insisted that I use an evaluator, Dr. Michelle DeAntonio, who had a web page up for 1 week, then later did not exist as an evaluator, or ph.d etc. and send this non existant evaluator $6,000.00 to some p.o. box, exlaining that the mediator, Berrenge would actually do the evaluation, and was going to get the $6,000.00

Anonymous said...


You are describing an obvious kickback. Judge Kelsay is one of many corrupt judges who force parents to make payments to their corrupt associates who then kick back a portion to the judge in cash.

George said...

Kelsay is a horrible judge and the system is crooked. But I do not have any proof of cash kickbacks to him, as that would be a serious crime.

Anonymous said...

Yeah, it was an obvious kickback scheme. I never paid the $6,000.00 for a phony evaluation. Why put my child through an exercise that was designed to conclude that there was something wrong with me ? Nothing specific, I assume, but just enough to keep me from my daughter and require more evaluatons in the future.

They'd already made enough from me through court ordered Bret K. Johnson, and Psych. Jay Goodman.

Anonymous said...

The imputed support is insane and defies logic. My husband's ex makes 4 times my husband's income, and has done so over the past 8 years. The court still calculates his income at being approx. 3 times more than it really is, with over 8 years of tax returns to bear this out.

It's based on a previous job, which he left in order to spend more time raising his kids; how ironic. Now he's at an age in which it's impossible to get hired in a similar capacity.

His ex actually makes more than twice what his and my combined income is...we're talking a very good, very high income in the high-tech. realm. Because she has the $, the court, evaluators, psychologists, etc. all cater to her wishes. She's a cash-cow for them, and her main hobby is shuttling the kids from one high-paid professional to another, instead of having to actually "parent" them herself. When she has a tough parental decision to make, she has E. Lee decide for her....(VERY SCARY and CONTROLLING Psych.!)

In the meantime, a "poorer" dad and stepmom, have effectively been cut out of these 2 kids lives at a time when they REALLY need some sane guidence and structure from PARENTS, not paid professionals.


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