Although the Family Court did not explicitly state the amount of income imputed to the father, in effect, it imputed to him an income of $80,000, since it left in place the basic support obligation previously determined, which was based on the father’s income in 2001, when he was employed by JP Morgan. This was an improvident exercise of discretion, as it was undisputed that the father had been laid off from JP Morgan in 2002, and is now employed at a much lower salary as a quality assurance technician. The father further established that, despite his efforts to secure employment commensurate with his experience and prior salary, he was unable to secure such employment. The record supports the Family Court’s finding that the father’s “true income” was “greater than his reported annual income of $26,000,” as well as its finding that he was “actually earning more at his current job, than his documents reflect.” However, there was no support in the record for imputing a salary of $80,000 to the father at his current job. Accordingly, we reverse the order dated October 1, 2009, and remit the matter to the Family Court, Kings County, so that a proper income determination can be made.
Laura Morgan is a Family Law Consultant. Laura is available for consultation, brief writing and research on family law issues throughout the country. She can be reached through her website. www.famlawconsult.com