July 2022 | No. 2019-CH-118 (Tenn. Ct. App. 2022)

Robinson v. Robinson (Tennessee 2022)

To find a parent voluntarily unemployed, the court must consider the parent’s choices and the reasonableness of the choices considering a parent’s obligation to support the child. The parents filed for divorce. They owned three Subway stores. Pending the final order, the court ordered that the mother would manage the stores and the father was to find another job. The father failed to find a job, so when calculating child support, the trial court imputed income to him that equaled the income for a Subway store manager. The father appealed, arguing the trial court had to first find him voluntarily unemployed before imputing income. The appealed court affirmed. It was clear from the order language that he was voluntarily unemployed. The trial court ordered him to find employment, but he had not. He testified he had a master’s degree and the ability to manage a Subway franchise. The amount imputed income was appropriate considering his skills and education.

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