While you know you must pay child support as part of your divorce, you do not know how much. How do judges even determine a fair amount of child support that one parent must pay?
Forbes offers insight on the matter. Understand the factors that determine child support amount.
One of the biggest considerations for child support is income, including income earned from a salary and passive income from investments. Common examples of earned income that judges consider include:
- Carried interest
- Partnership distributions
- Deferred compensation
- Signing or performance bonus
- Employment perks
Does your employer contribute to your retirement account? If so, courts consider that amount, too.
Expect the court to scrutinize your most recent federal income tax return. Even if you neglected to report earned income on your taxes, the court may still look into it. Inconsistencies, such as a lavish lifestyle that does not track with a modest income and position, often require deeper investigation.
Judges also compare your current earnings with your educational background and income potential. For instance, if you earned a master’s degree at a prestigious school and used to work at a high-end advertising agency but now work at a coffee shop, the judge may base your child support payment on your salary at the agency. Also, if you regularly receive money from your family, the court may include that sum when determining your child support amount.
No source of compensation or income goes unexplored when judges decide on child support payments. Now you have some information to form an estimate for yourself.