After my oldest child emancipated, my ex-wife requested a child support review that resulted in my support payments doubling.
The review calculated income based in part on my bonuses received over the past few years even though the bonuses vary widely and my base pay has remained consistent.
Is this fair that my child support should increase when I have less children to support after one was emancipated and my bonuses where used to determine income?
I am unable to give you legal advice on divorce. I can give general divorce help for men, though, my knowledge is based on Georgia divorce laws where I am licensed to practice.
The amount of child support obligation is determined by state child support laws.
Where I practice, the calculation is based upon the combined adjusted income of the custodial and noncustodial parent and the number of children for whom child support is being determined. The calculation also considers contributions of health care and work related childcare costs.
Any further deviations from the calculation must be supported by sufficient findings that an amount of child support other than the amount calculated is reasonably necessary to provide for the needs of the children.
Other states determine child support based strictly on a percentage of the non-custodial parent’s income. A child support lawyer in your jurisdiction can help you determine the statutory requirements of your state and whether you are eligible for any kind of deviation from the presumptive amount of support.
It sounds like your income may be inconsistent from year to year depending on the amount of your yearly bonus. What matters is your total income for the year, which includes both your salary and bonuses.
Courts often look at the last three years of income to determine what a parent’s income will likely be going forward as well.
Keep in mind, however, if your income decreases significantly in the future, you might have the opportunity to file for a modification of support to reflect your change in income, depending on the laws in your state.
Remember, I am unable to provide you with anything more than divorce tips for men, so please consult with divorce lawyers for men in your jurisdiction.