Will the Court impute income to me?
At the beginning of your divorce proceedings, one party or the other is likely to file a Request for Order, which is the mechanism by which you obtain a hearing date to go to court for temporary orders to be issued. In terms of seeking temporary Spousal Support, the Court’s goal is to “maintain the status quo.”
The parties exchange Income & Expense Declarations, and the Court uses either the Dissomaster or X-Spouse Software to determine the temporary Child Support and Spousal Support figures. If you have been a stay-at-home Mom or a homemaker during the marriage, don’t let the other side try to “impute” you with the ability to earn minimum wage income.
Your side of the equation should register with your income for the past 12 months. If you did not receive a paycheck or self-employed income for the past 12 months, then a big fat ZERO should be used on your side of the equation.
Be aware, that this hiatus is not going to last forever. The Court will expect you to “get busy doing something,” and you will need to start looking for a job. Keep track of your efforts to find a job. Draft your resume, keep track of all possible job options. Because the next time you go to Court, chances are, the Court is going to ask what efforts you have taken to become self-supporting.
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