What is Income for The Calculation of Child Support and Alimony?
Child support and alimony are two of the most crucial decisions made during a dissolution of marriage (divorce). Child support can also be ordered if parents have never married each other or even lived together. Creating a child is the bottom line for child support. Whatever the circumstance for needing alimony or child support, there are considerations. The calculation of income supporting the awarding of alimony and child support is as follows and is applicable for each party:
- Salary: How much money per month/year before taxes and deductions does an individual make? A salary is a lump sum amount earned irregardless of the number of hours worked. A wage is the amount of money earned per hour worked times the number of hours worked over a specified period of time. Wages are sometimes difficult to determine as there can be many different arrangements, such as working X number of hours per week or working only when called to work and being sent home when work slows. Your attorney will help your figure out how to correctly determine your wage.
- Overtime/bonuses: The average workweek is 40 hours, and time spent on the job after 40 hours is considered overtime. Also, working on major holidays can be considered overtime. The usual pay scale for overtime is time and a half. In other words, if you make $10.00 an hour for 40 hours, you would earn $15.00 an hour for overtime. Another amount of earnings you will need to figure in your income is bonuses. Sometimes these bonuses are surprises, so your work history will be considered. Again, your attorney can help you know the right amount to claim.
- Business income (less any expenses required to produce the income): This income comes from a business you own by yourself or with others. It is a good idea to have your attorney go over these funds with you to be sure you are submitting the correct amount.
- Disability income: This income would come from the state if you have been declared legally disabled and unable to work. Checks are monthly for a specific amount.
- Personal/IRA/Retirement: any income you receive from a regular source such as a family member, IRA, or retirement must be included as income.
- Interest and Dividends on Financial Accounts: Any money coming in as interest or a dividend from such sources as stocks, investments, bonds, or money markets, will need to be reported as income. An attorney can help you determine income from these assets.
- Rental income: Should you own any real estate beyond the family home and rent out said real estate, the rent money you receive must be counted as income. Check with your attorney if costs of maintaining the rental property can be deducted from the rent amount received.
- Trust income: Any money being received from a trust account must be counted.
- In-Kind money is determined by, for example, the fair amount of rent you would be paying if you had to pay for the free housing your parents are giving you or the cost of a car rental for the car you are regularly borrowing.
Figuring out the correct calculations for alimony and child support can be tricky. You don’t want to leave anything out as should a judge determine you were avoiding the truth, the end result could cost you way more money than you think you might be saving by eliminating certain facts. Always tell your attorney the whole truth and let him or her help you calculate an accurate amount. If you live in Palm Beach, Martin, St. Lucie, Miami-Dade, Broward, Orange, or Hillsborough County in Florida or New York or Washington D, C., Family Law Attorney Grant Gisondo can help with your alimony and child support calculations. For answers to your questions, Attorney Gisondo offers a free, in-office initial consultation to answer general questions. He can also share how he would be able to help in your specific case. His office hours are Monday through Friday from 9:AM to 5:00 PM and for new clients on Saturdays from 8:30 AM to 1:00 PM. You can call his office at (561) 530-4568 to make an appointment.