Trial court erred by calculating earning capacity based on extraordinary work schedule. Award of support should not penalize efforts of spouse by locking him into onerous schedule after the divorce.
In a post-divorce action, it was not impermissible “double counting” to value the ex-husband’s business based on his reasonable compensation as opposed to actual compensation and then to calculate alimony based on the same excess salary that had been added back to business income, thus increasing the value of the corporate assets for which ex-wife already had received her share in equitable distribution.
Trial court did not have to find shirking to impute income given the flexibility of the father’s income.
Imputation of income affirmed where payer made no attempt to advertise his handyman business and only applied for 10 jobs in one year. Where children were all in school or daycare, there was no need for a full time stay-at-home parent. (Not published, but citable)
Trial court’s finding of husband’s income by using wife’s testimony establishing the parties’ lifestyle, where the court found Husband’s testimony not credible.
Trial court did not err in setting maintenance based upon husband’s income before termination without expert testimony and without using the word “shirking” where his actual earnings were reduced due to his voluntary misconduct at work.
Standard of appellate review for shirking is that an appellate court should independently determine the issue of reasonableness, giving appropriate deference to the circuit court.
While a trial court can consider incarceration when as a basis for a request for a modification in child support, the fact of incarceration by itself neither mandates nor prevents modification. Incarceration is one factor to be considered, but the determination should be made on a case-by-case basis looking at the totality of the relevant circumstances.
Court properly exercised discretion by basing maintenance on wife’s actual earnings, rather than basing on a 40-hour work week, as this is what she had done in the past. The court also properly exercised discretion in not imputing income to husband for moonlighting where husband was working 45 hours per week.
Incarceration is a valid factor for a family court to consider in setting child support.
Shirking does not require a finding that a spouse deliberately reduced earnings.
Court can set child support based on potential income where father returned to school.
(1) Two tier orders does not apply as percentage standards are mandatory on modification (2) Decision by father to return to school was reasonable (3) Children benefit by more than just dollars – financial compensation is not exclusive factor.
Voluntarily leaving job was unreasonable and court can impute earnings.
Trial court did not fully consider statutory factors when it did not mention wife’s ability to become self-supporting in the future.
(1) Child support order appropriate where mother stopped working so she can raise child from second marriage (2) Bad faith need not be shown to base an order on earning capacity (3) Second husband’s income can be considered as part of mother’s total economic circumstances.
Where voluntary reduction of support was well intended, court can still consider the reasonableness of the employment choice in light of the support obligation.
Only actual receipt of AFDC is excluded from gross income.
Incarceration for intentional crime may be a substantial change in circumstances warranting modification of child support.
No abuse of discretion in ordering 8 years of maintenance in 25 year marriage – no abuse of discretion in refusing to find that wife is intentionally underemployed and does not use her ability to become self-supporting.