For imputation of income at trial, you only need to prove that a relevant job exists, not a specific job

March 16, 2018

Bond v. Bond, March 16, 2018

Held:  Jobs Available can be General, Not Specific--need to prove only that jobs exist in the relevant marketplace that could theoretically meet a spouse’s employment qualifications and medical needs.

“[Wife] argues that the trial court’s findings lack support because neither Expert nor any other witness identified a specific job with a specific employer that met Expert’s criteria. This argument misperceives the specificity requirements that vocational testimony must meet. Courts may impute income “based upon employment potential and probable earnings.” Utah Code Ann. § 78B-12-203(8)(b) (emphasis added). Neither the statute nor any case law of which we are aware requires trial witnesses to identify a position with a specific employer that meets a spouse’s employment needs. A trial court may ground its imputation findings on more general evidence, including testimony that jobs exist in the relevant marketplace that could theoretically meet a spouse’s employment qualifications and medical needs. See Busche v. Busche, 2012 UT App 16, ¶ 21, 272 P.3d 748 (observing that imputation decisions “necessarily depend[] on whether there are jobs available in the relevant market for a person with the party’s qualifications and experience”); cf. Fish, 2010 UT App 292, ¶¶ 5, 16–17 (upholding an imputation decision where a vocational specialist testified there “were a significant number of local jobs available” for which the spouse was qualified). Here, Expert identified several categories of employment that would theoretically meet [Wife’s] medical and physical needs. Bond v. Bond, 2018 UT App 38

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