We are working remotely during these trying times to make sure we can still support you in all your legal matters.
Please know you can call us or schedule online appointments for any of your legal matters. Be well and stay safe.
Serving New Jersey Since 1984 Our Location
The Law Office Of Miller & Gaudio PC
Call Us Today. We Can Help. 732-741-6769

NJ Divorce Case Review--Imputation of Income

Provost v. Provost, Appellate Division, March 25, 2015 (unpublished decision):

The issue in this matter centered on the impact of an individual's decision, after being fired from his job as a mechanic, to become self-employed as a mechanic and whether his reduced earnings justified the imputation of income.

The trial court determined that the reduction in earnings from the previous W2 level to the amount earned as a self-employed individual justified the imputation of income at the previous level of earnings based upon the theory that to justify the reduced earnings the individual must submit "competent proof of a diminished earning capacity as a mechanic or a good faith attempt at finding another mechanic's position following his termination . . .", theorizing that the switch amounted to a change in careers.

The Appellate Court reversed and directed the Court to make the following findings:

(1) "should the judge find that defendant changed careers, the judge must then determine whether the benefits defendant derived from the career change substantially outweighed the disadvantages to plaintiff."

(2) "If the judge concludes...that defendant's current and prior employment involve similar skills and experience such that defendant did not change careers, the judge must then consider defendant's contention under the applicable law" in Dorfman...and determine if defendant is "voluntarily underemployed."

In reaching this conclusion, the Appellate Division focused on two cases. First, Storey v. Storey 373 N.J. Super. 472 (App.Div. 2004), where the decision to impute income was affirmed as the defendant was unable to prove that the benefits he derived from a career change substantially outweighed the disadvantages to the supported spouse. The defendant was a computer hardware specialist making $111,000 a year, he was terminated and rather than finding a new job in his field, he moved to Florida and began work as a massage therapist making $300 per week in which he had no prior training or experience.

Second, Dorfman v. Dorfman, 315 N.J. Super. 511, 516-17 (App. Div. 1998), where the decision to impute income was reversed as it was found that the party was not voluntarily underemployed, and that "[s]uch a finding is requisite, before considering imputation of income." The defendant in Dorfman was an accountant earning a salary of $100,000, was terminated and then accepted a job as an accountant for $60,000 a year as he was unable to find a job doing the same work at a comparable pay.

For more information about issues concerning imputation of income or modification of alimony, please contact our firm today.

No Comments

Leave a comment
Comment Information
Email Us For A Response

Contact The Firm

Bold labels are required.

Contact Information

The use of the Internet or this form for communication with the firm or any individual member of the firm does not establish an attorney-client relationship. Confidential or time-sensitive information should not be sent through this form.


Privacy Policy

Firm Location:
River Run Building
104-110 Maple Avenue
Red Bank, NJ 07701

Phone: 732-741-6769
Fax: 732-747-6016
Red Bank Law Office Map

Firm Numbers: