Courts Impute Income to Spouse Who Claims He Has No Income

In a recent case, decided by the appellate division of the second department, which affects residents in Nassau, Suffolk, Queens, Kings, and Westchester Counties, the court held that it need not rely upon a party's account of his or her finances, but could impute income based upon the party's past income or demonstrated future potential earnings. This case, Weche v Weche is a major policy decision by the court to reach even potential rather than actual income to fashion a support award.

The court went on to amplify its decision and stated that imputation of income can include employment history, future earning capacity, educational background, or money received from friends or relatives and further remarked that they would do so where the party's testimony was unbelievable. In such a case an amount larger than that alleged was proper to be made.

Many litigants are affected by the "instant poverty syndrome" in divorce litigation so this case will be of great benefit when you are faced with a similar problem.