How Imputed Income Factors into a Divorce
When a couple divorces, each spouse must make a full financial disclosure for the purposes of property division, alimony and child support. Often, a supporting spouse attempts to under report income to reduce alimony and child support obligations. Here are a few ways a supporting spouse could go into a divorce with lower-than-actual reported income:
- Turn down a promotion or raise — An employee who is cozy with the boss could request that a promotion or raise be postponed until the divorce is over.
- Accrue commissions — A sales professional could ask an employer to delay commissions “for tax purposes” when that really means “after the divorce.”
- Neglect to invoice clients — A business that isn’t billing isn’t earning.
- Create phony expenses — If a supporting spouse owns a business, it’s easy to list invalid expenses to drive down reported profits.
But when a party to divorce reports income that is lower than in previous years, the court tends to notice. Spouses also tend to notice when a long-anticipated promotion doesn’t come through, yet it’s treated as if it’s no big deal. A court can examine a long list of clues that leads to the inescapable conclusion that this breadwinner is trimming the crust.
It’s then that the court can impute income, treating the spouse’s reported income as if it is not telling the whole story. The court may inflate the reported income and use the higher figure in calculations for child support and alimony.
What Are the Steps of an Uncontested Divorce in Utah?
When a couple refers to an uncontested divorce, they are discussing a divorce that does not go to trial. In an uncontested divorce, there is no cause for a trial because issues are discussed and decided upon with the help of attorneys outside of the courtroom. This process includes the following steps:
- Filing for divorce. Your divorce case begins in the eyes of the state when you or your partner file a no-fault divorce through a Summons and Complaint or Summons with Notice, and pay a filing fee. If you already have a settlement in place, you may file it at the same time that you file for divorce. If not, negotiations must take place and you and your spouse must reach a settlement agreement.
- Serving your spouse. The spouse who did not file must be personally served with papers notifying them that you filed for divorce. This is completed by someone other than the person who filed for divorce who is over the age of 18. Once the papers have been served to your spouse, he or she will sign an Affidavit of Service to formally recognize that they received the divorce papers, and that they agree to a no-fault divorce. At this time, the divorce is considered uncontested.
- Calendar your divorce for review. After you and your spouse have negotiated and reached a settlement on your divorce, your case will be presented to the court and calendared for review. This means that a judge will be provided with your divorce papers and will look over your case.
- Judgement of divorce. If a judge approves of your settlement, he or she will sign a Judgement of Divorce ending your marriage. Both spouses will receive a copy of the judgement, and the spouse who did not file for divorce will need to sign a final Affidavit of Service noting that the divorce is finalized.
Free Consultation with Divorce Lawyer in Utah
If you have a question about divorce law or if you need to start or defend against a divorce case in Utah call Ascent Law at (801) 676-5506. We will help you.
8833 S. Redwood Road, Suite C
West Jordan, Utah
84088 United States
Telephone: (801) 676-5506