Rodrigues v. De Sousa: Evidence and Imputing Income

In this case, the mother was asking the court to impute an income of $100,000.00 to the father for the purposes of determining temporary child support on a Motion.

According to his income tax returns, the father’s income left him well below the poverty line. However, he was a highly-skilled manager, financial advisor and insurance salesperson with years of experience who paid approximately $3,000.00 per month in expenses, who only applied for one job over the past six years, and who earned $150,000.00 in years prior to separation.

After determining that the father was intentionally underemployed and that he did not disclose his full income, Justice Sherr imputed him an income of $45,000.00.

In determining this amount, Justice Sherr allowed government reports that listed average salaries for different types of employment in as evidence. However, the father was imputed an income far below the reported average income for insurance salespersons and financial advisors because the father was 60 years old, had not worked for anyone other than himself for several years and, as such, would likely not earn as much as an average insurance salesperson or financial advisor as soon as he re-entered the job market.

Justice Sherr noted that the trial judge would likely attribute a higher income to the father after a full hearing of the facts and pointed out that this judgement might be difficult to enforce because the father was in breach of Support Orders made after the breakdown of a previous relationship.

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