Monthly figures are used to calculate the child support obligation. Any adjustments to the child support amount should be annualized so that each month's child support obligation is increased or decreased in an equal amount, instead of the obligation for particular months being increased or decreased.
FOR EXAMPLE: One parent incurs childcare costs of $150 per month but only for nine months of the year. The adjustment for childcare costs must be annualized as follows: Multiply the $150 monthly cost times the nine months that the cost is actually paid each year, for an annual total of $1,350. Divide this total by 12 months to arrive at an annualized monthly adjustment of $113 that may be added to the Basic Child Support
Obligation when determining the child support order.
Terms such as "Gross Income" and "Adjusted Gross Income" don't have the same meaning as when they are used for tax purposes
Gross income includes income from any source, and may include income from salaries, wages, commissions, bonuses, dividends, severance pay, pensions, interest, trust income, annuities, capital gains, social security benefits, worker's compensation benefits, unemployment insurance benefits, disability insurance benefits, recurring gifts, prizes, and spousal maintenance.
Cash value will be assigned to in-kind or other non-cash benefits. Seasonal or fluctuating income should be annualized. Income from any source that isn't continuing or recurring doesn't need to be included in gross income for child support purposes.
Don't attribute income for overtime, unless it's part your regular schedule
Generally, the court should not attribute income greater than what would have been earned from full-time employment. Each parent should have the choice of working additional hours through overtime or at a second job without increasing the child support
award. The court may, however, consider income actually earned that is greater than what would have been earned by full-time employment, if that income was historically earned from a regular schedule and is anticipated to continue into the future.
The court should generally not attribute additional income to a parent if that would require an extraordinary work regimen. Determination of what constitutes a reasonable work regimen depends upon all relevant circumstances including the choice of jobs available within a particular occupation, working hours and working conditions.
If self-employed, "gross income" means "adjusted gross income"
Remember to deduct for ordinary and necessary expenses when calculating "gross income" for purposes of child support. For income from self-employment, rent, royalties, proprietorship of a business, or joint ownership of a partnership or closely held corporation, gross income means gross receipts minus ordinary and necessary expenses required to produce income.
Ordinary and necessary expenses don't include amounts determined by the court to be inappropriate for determining gross income for purposes of child support. Ordinary and necessary expenses include one-half of the self-employment tax actually paid.
Reimbursements and non-cash benefits from work count as income
Expense reimbursements or benefits received by a parent in the course of employment or self-employment or operation of a business should be counted as income if they are significant and reduce that parent's personal living expenses
Income should reflect earning capacity, even if unemployed and working low hours
If a parent is unemployed or working below full earning capacity, the court may consider the reasons. If earnings are reduced as a matter of choice and not for reasonable cause, the court may attribute income to a parent up to his or her earning capacity. If the reduction in income is voluntary but reasonable, the court will balance that parent's decision against the impact the reduction in that parent's share of child support has on the children's best interest.
Income of at least minimum wage will be attributed to a parent ordered to pay child support. If income is attributed to the parent receiving child support, appropriate childcare expenses may also be attributed.
The court will not attribute income if: (1) the parent is mentally/physically ill, (2) in career or occupational training, or (3) the emotional/physical needs of child require that parents' presence in the home.
Don't include your new spouse's income
Only income of parents having a -legal- duty of support shall be treated as income under the guidelines. For example, income from a parent's new spouse is not treated as income of that parent.
The court can't consider the property settlement in determining child support
The court will not consider the impact of the divorce property settlement, unless there were excessive or abnormal expenditures, destruction, concealment or fraudulent disposition of other community property. The court will, however, consider the extent to which that property generates income to a parent.
Spousal maintenance is calculated BEFORE child support
Any court-ordered amount of spousal maintenance resulting from this or any other marriage, if actually being paid, will be deducted from the gross income of the parent paying spousal maintenance. Court-ordered arrearage payments will not be included as an adjustment to gross income.
Child support should only be reduced for support
A parent's legal duty is to support his or her natural or adopted children. The "support" of other people such as stepchildren or parents is voluntary and not a reason for an adjustment in the amount of child support determined under the guidelines.
Our Rating is calculated using information the lawyer has included on their profile in addition to the information we collect from state bar associations and other organizations that license legal professionals. Attorneys who claim their profiles and provide Avvo with more information tend to have a higher rating than those who do not.
What determines Avvo Rating?
Experience & background
Years licensed, work experience, education
Legal community recognition
Peer endorsements, associations, awards
Legal thought leadership
Publications, speaking engagements
This lawyer was disciplined by a state licensing authority in .
Disciplinary information may not be comprehensive, or updated. We recommend that you always check a lawyer's disciplinary status with their respective state bar association before hiring them.