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Imputed Income

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  • Imputed Income

    If a parent is not yet done their undergrad but will be graduating soon, will a judge expect them to look for work afterwards or would they be lenient if the parent wanted to continue their academics with a masters degree? If the parent does continue their academics, can I impute income at that point (assuming I have at least 40% parenting time)?

    Has anyone dealt with this type of situation before - a parent staying in school as long as possible to keep income low (thus keeping the other parent's child support payments high) while receiving government non-taxable benefits for being a student who is also a single parent.

  • #2
    Parents are expected to pay support. If the payor can demonstrate that a masters degree would mean more earning potential it *might* be considered but more than likely income will be imputed either minimum wage or entry level of the BA.


    • #3
      Thanks for your reply rockscan. I guess where my view lies (and hopefully with a judge too) is that it is more reasonable to allow someone to not work while completing an undergrad as the starting salary for someone with a degree is anticipated to be significantly higher than the starting salary of someone with no post-secondary education.

      However, once that degree is completed, I am expecting to impute income of at least $40,000 even if the other parent decides to pursue a master's degree. My view would be that each parent has an obligation to support their child and I hope a judge would agree to that. I guess my worry is that currently, the other parent earns about $33,000 of tax-free money through CS, CCB and OSAP grants, so why would they want to start working at a $40,000-$50,000 starting salary if they are already earning the net amount of that salary range and it isn't taxable.


      • #4
        If they can get a job that pays a good income without needing a masters degree then they should be working. It isn't fair for one parent to be pulling the weight especially when the other parent's income is tax free.

        Drygala v Pauli is the prevailing case on purposely under employed. You probably could find other cases where one parent chooses school over work.


        • #5
          All parents must support their kids. They can go to school, and may pay less support during that time, but they must have a plan on how they're going to pay support. If you had shared custody now, ex would be paying offset regardless of bachelor's vs masters.


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