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Imputed Income for Child Support

When calculating income for child support purposes, the Florida family law statutes allow the courts to consider in kind payments and impute the full amount of these payments as income to the person benefitting from the payments to the extent that the payments reduce living expenses. In kind payments are generally related to employment, e.g. having a company vehicle to drive, a business credit card, housing allowances, etc. However, the courts have also considered support provided by family members to be in kind payments. For example, if a parent is paying for rent or any other expenses of a party to a court case, that amount of money not being spent by the party can be imputed, or counted, as income to that party. This can have an effect on the amount of money that party either pays or receives in child support.

While this may make sense, it may come as a surprise to learn that in kind income can also come from a new significant other. Courts have allowed income to be imputed to a party when their significant other is living with them and splitting the household expenses, even if the household is one that the party would not be able to afford on their own.

Loans from friends or family do NOT constitute in kind payments, and therefore this money cannot be imputed as income to the party receiving the money. However, it is best to have written proof that the money is a loan to avoid the possibility of the funds being imputed as in kind income during a court hearing. Securing knowledgeable and experience legal representation will ensure that you are properly counseled regarding in kind income in your divorce or paternity case.

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