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What Does It Mean To Impute Income in Minnesota?

When a couple has a child, they assume a number of parental responsibilities and privileges, many of which last a lifetime. Among their responsibilities is the obligation to provide financial support for their minor child. If the couple lives together, it is assumed that both parents contribute to the financial and emotional support of their offspring. However, if a couple divorces, the responsibility to provide for the child is formalized through a child support agreement.

Under Minnesota law, both parents must contribute support for their child. Their financial contributions may not be equal but will instead be consummate with their ability to provide. To calculate this, Minnesota courts look at both parents’ relative incomes and determine how they will each contribute.

Occasionally in these situations, one parent will attempt to get around his or her financial obligation by changing their employment status. This can be achieved either through becoming unemployed or underemployed, meaning the parent does not work as much or commands a much lower salary. If this happens, the court can choose not to accept the parent’s reported income, but instead impute income to that parent. Imputing income is a process of assigning an income to a person based on what he or she could or should be earning.

Income is imputed in situations in which there is clear evidence that a parent is trying to skirt his or her child support obligations through manipulating his or her employment status. It is not done to punish a parent who has been terminated involuntarily or who has made a genuine career change that necessitates a lower income.

If you need assistance with a child support matter or you have reason to believe your former partner is under-reporting income, is it a good idea to seek legal counsel. Learn more about your options by meeting with the respected Minnesota divorce attorneys at Appelhof, Pfeifer & Hart, P.A. 

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  • "Tori had a thorough understanding of my situation and made excellent recommendations to resolve my concerns. She was persistent on communication and handled everything in a very timely manner. I would definitely hire her again in the future if needed." - M.K.

  • "With Appelhof, Pfeifer & Hart, P.A., it is like having a family physician. They are all knowledgeable, thorough, comforting, and the only call I need to make for all my legal needs for many years to come. No matter what the matter, I totally trust their advice and commitment to me and my family." - J.N.

  • "Mary from APH Law helped me thru a difficult divorce. She and the entire staff was there for me every step of the way helping me on what to do next. They listened to what I wanted and helped me achieve what matter the most to me in the divorce settlement." - Dana C.

  • "I chose APH after my initial consultation with Mary. I felt my best interest would be represented. The entire process went excellent, the attorneys and staff communicated effectively and efficiently with me throughout the process as they needed to. Being new to the legal process and verbiage, they walked me and talked me through the next steps and the jargon, I felt completely comfortable and represented. I hope I never have to use legal services again but if I do I will call Mary at APH Law and know that I will be taken care of." - Jeff M.

  • "Divorce is a time of emotion and stress. Mary Pfeifer , My lawyer was professional and compassionate. She was very informative through the process. Her insight helped me in my decisions. She worked hard to obtain a settlement which was fair to both parties. Though, I hope I won't need her help again. It is reassuring to know a good person that is willing to help." - Rod S.

  • "I first came to Ms. Jacquelyn Lutz of Appelhof, Pfeifer and Hart in October of 2016. It was definitely the worst time in my life and she compassionately spoke with me about my options. Ms. Lutz thoroughly explained the laws, statutes, process and what to expect going forward. What was supposed to be one case, turned into three intricate cases that took a huge toll on me and my family. Ms. Lutz represented me in court on all three cases with a vast knowledge of the laws and how to proceed accordingly. During all three cases she kept me informed, calm, gave me resources to utilize, and (most important) gave me a realistic view of what may come next. Ms. Lutz knew each case required a great deal of knowledge and creative thinking on how to legally proceed forward with each case. My family and friends are forever grateful for the amazing representation by Ms. Lutz. I highly recommend Ms. Lutz for anyone needing or considering superb representation for any kind of family law. " - M.H.

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