When determining child support in divorce, family courts strive to establish a consistent standard of living for minor children. This means calculating the gross monthly incomes of each parent when handing down a child support order.
For many, there are often multiple sources of income. Some of these sources can easily be overlooked when performing your calculations. As you might imagine, this can lead to a big surprise in terms of how much support you might be ordered to pay when the judge makes a ruling.
You already know that your wages and salary are big factors in determining how much support you will pay. The following section contains several examples of often-overlooked income sources that courts use to determine monthly child support payments.
- Any income you receive through commissions
- Dividends, pensions, annuities and interest
- Severance payments or packages
- Income generated through trusts
- Partnership distributions
- Social security and retirement benefits
- Worker’s and unemployment compensation
- Veterans’ disability benefits
- Disability insurance benefits
- Military allotments for subsistence and housing
- Income from rental properties
Having a good grasp of your gross monthly income helps you anticipate the child support decisions a judge may make. In turn, you will be able to calculate with reasonable accuracy your total monthly expenses (including your support obligations) after your divorce is complete.
To improve your calculations and be even more prepared for your child support obligations, consider speaking with a legal advocate. Together, you can form a better picture of your and your kids’ situation, which can help you spot potential financial hardships before they impact your life.