Maintenance and the Underemployed Spouse
In cases where a spouse is not working, or is only working part time, the court may impute a higher income to an underemployed spouse for the purposes of establishing a maintenance award. Imputing income assumes that a party is capable of earning a specific amount. The courts’ decision to impute income depends upon a variety of factors that include the expectations regarding employment that were established during the marriage, whether a spouse has made an effort to obtain a more lucrative position, and the current availability of suitable employment. The issue of imputed income may also require a vocational assessment of the underemployed party in order to determine employability.
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