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What income is considered while determining support?

On Behalf of | Jun 23, 2020 | Child Support |

If you have concerns about receiving enough child support from your spouse, you should know that divorce judges look at many different factors when granting support. Your spouse may have a job that pays a regular salary, but you should expect a judge to look beyond a salary to other forms of revenue or assets to come up with a support amount. 

When looking at the income of a person, a judge may consider types of income that are not obvious. Forbes explains what judges look for when they scrutinize the income or compensation a person receives to determine support payments. 

Forms of income 

In addition to a salary, a court may look at whether your spouse has earned money from employment compensation, which can take many forms. They may include contributions to a retirement account or deferred compensation. Judges may also look at bonuses, like performance bonuses or signing bonuses. In addition, judges may consider recurring passive income, which can include dividends your spouse earns on investments. 

Unreported income 

A divorce judge can also consider revenue or assets not reported on a tax form. A judge will likely look at the environment you and your spouse raised your child in, like whether the child grew up in an expensive home and went to a private school, and the overall lifestyle your child currently enjoys. This lifestyle may serve as a clue to indicate how much your spouse really makes for a living. 

For instance, a child may live in an upper income neighborhood, yet the amount of income on a tax filing for your spouse does not appear to support that lifestyle. Considering this fact, a judge will likely check for unreported assets and income that your spouse used to sustain that lifestyle and use those means to factor into support payments.