When parents separate, child support is an essential need. Child support allows the child to live in the same or similar financial circumstances as if the parents had remained and/or resided together. The Courts believe the child cannot control whether the parents remain together, but the most vulnerable party, the child, should not have to suffer. Therefore, the courts created a child support guideline that will determine child support based on a few factors, including but not limited to (a) the incomes of the parents and (b) how many overnights the child spends with each parent.
When determining the income of the parties, the courts can look at the below factors. This can be complicated, but with the right attorney by your side, the appropriate income and deductions can be used to appropriately determine support.
The Courts will use the following to determine gross income. Gross income includes, but is not limited to, the following:
1. Salary or wages.
2. Bonuses, commissions, allowances, overtime, tips, and other similar payments.
3. Business income from sources such as self-employment, partnership, close corporations, and independent contracts.
4. Disability benefits.
5. All workers’ compensation benefits and settlements.
6. Reemployment assistance or unemployment compensation.
7. Pension, retirement, or annuity payments.
8. Social security benefits.
9. Spousal support received from a previous marriage.
10. Interest and dividends.
11. Rental income.
12. Income from royalties, trusts, or estates.
13. Reimbursed expenses or in kind payments to the extent that they reduce living expenses.
14. Gains derived from dealings in property, unless the gain is nonrecurring.
There are many other relevant factors for the courts to consider, such as disability of the child, child care, health insurance of the parents and the minor child, unemployment of one or both parents. Therefore, a parent should seek the advice of an attorney to help with the determination of child support. The attorneys at Jarbath Pena Law Group are experienced in calculating child support.
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We look forward to answering your questions.