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Income at time of Divorce

Mountainside, NJ |

Is it important to mention annual income in a Settlement Agreement for divorce when alimony is awarded? Do you mention just one year of income or more? Why is annual income included in a settlement agreement? How important is it when one pays child support?

Attorney Answers 5

  1. Stating each parties income is critical for a number of reasons, all of which require more information and more discussion than this forum allows. You should consult with an attorney to decide to how best present this information and protect yourself in the PSA.

    This post is not legal advice and does not create a confidential attorney-client relationship. It is being offered for informational purposes only. You should not relay any confidential or priviliged material in this public forum. You should not rely on this post as legal advice. In order to obtain a more comprehensive answer to your question you should consult with an attorney of your choosing.

  2. The primary reason the income may be stated is so that everyone understands what the "status quo" was at the time the terms of the Agreement were confirmed. Ultimately, one may refer back to this information if a party in the future makes an application to modify support (alimony or child support), indicating that the income was $x in 2012 and now it is $y in 201?, accordingly there has been a "change of circumstances."

    The Answer provided was based on the limited information provided, and represents information based on the law in general, not a legal opinion that can be relied upon. Before a formal legal opinion can be offered I would need an opportunity to review all possible relevant facts and circumstances. You cannot rely on the advice of an attorney given over the internet. The exact facts of your sitaution, including facts which you have not mentioned in your question, may completely change the opinion that is being offered. Please be aware that the above comments are neither protected by attorney-client privilege, nor may the same be the basis for a malpractice lawsuit.

  3. Yes, it is very important and it is the benchmark by what you will follow now and in the future should things change. Take care.

    Legal disclaimer: The response given is not intended to create, nor does it create an ongoing duty to respond to questions. The response does not form an attorney-client relationship, nor is it intended to be anything other than the educated opinion of the author. It should not be relied upon as legal advice. The response given is based upon the limited facts provided by the person asking the question. To the extent additional or different facts exist, the response might possibly change. Attorney is licensed to practice law only in the State of Massachusetts. Responses are based solely on Massachusetts law unless stated otherwise.

  4. Yes. Depending in the circumstances, you can mention one year of income, more than one, the average over several years, etc. Mentioning income is important to know how the parties arrived at the figure initially and if the agreement calls for potential modification in the future of alimony (and especially child support that is always modifiable based upon a sign change) those figures will become critical in that analysis.

  5. Income of each party should always be included in any settlement agreement even if the agreement provides that no support is being paid and absolutly when there is support, either child support or alimony. Both child support and alimony are determined by the parties income although alimony may be determined by income earned in prior years and child support is generally based upon current income. It is important to be clear as to the numbers that were used to make the determinations for a number of reasons, but the most important being any attempts by either party to alter the terms of support. These concepts get complicated and it is often better to have an attorney draft the settlement agreement and work out the child support numbers.

    Disclaimer: The information you obtain at this answer is not, nor is it intended to be, legal advice. You should consult an attorney for individual advice regarding your own situation. Review of this answer does not in any way constitute legal representation,

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