Determining Income for Child Support
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Determing Income in Divorce
Income issues: How is a parent’s income calculated? The following are some examples. Remember that all situations are different and require an experienced attorney to determine the best method for these calculations.
Gross Income: Child Support calculations are based off gross income or one’s earning capacity, not net income. Additionally, if a party has deductions for retirement accounts or other benefits, those items can be calculated back into the gross income figure.
Income Suppression: Sometimes a parent may believe that the other is purposefully “under earning” for purposes of the divorce and child support calculations. In these cases, Georgia allows a court to impute income to a party even though they are not currently earning that amount. This is done under a theory of “earning capacity”. It may be that a parent is purposefully under earning or this theory may be used when a party is not working but is capable of working and earning an income. In some cases, this can be a complex issue that requires an experienced attorney to navigate the most appropriate strategy.
Variable Income: If a party has an income that varies from year to year or month to month, there can often be arguments about determining the proper income level. Incomes that fall in this category are resolved by using an average of what has been earned over the past couple of years. Arguments can be made against an average: however, courts generally will not use the lowest number.