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A: If the custodial parent threatens to file for child support, remember that all income counts.
Many non-custodial parents think that child support is just calculated on his/her base salary. Think again! All income counts, so this will include overtime or income from a 2d job. As such, if the custodial parent threatens to sue for child support, you may wish to consider cutting back on overtime, or giving up that 2d job – or else you may be stuck with having to keep earning that income whether you like it or not.
Some people don’t realize that if they have rental income, dividend income, or income from investments that it counts as income for child support purposes as well. Additionally, if you receive a tax refund, then guess what? That’s income as well. The good rule of thumb to use is: any money coming into your wallet is probably going to be considered income for child support purposes. Be forewarned! Other types of income are: workers’ compensation, disability benefits, unemployment insurance benefits, social security benefits, veterans benefits, pensions and retirement benefits, fellowships and stipends, annuity payments, and receipt of alimony or maintenance from a prior relationship.
The court may also “impute” income – or assume receipt of certain items may be included in the calculation of one’s Income. Examples from the statute are: non-income producing assets, meals, lodging, memberships, automobiles or other perquisites that are provided as part of compensation for employment to the extent that such perquisites constitute expenditures for personal use, or which expenditures directly or indirectly confer personal economic benefits, fringe benefits provided as part of compensation for employment, and money, goods, or services provided by relatives and friends; an amount imputed as income based upon the parent’s former resources or income (if the court determines that a parent has reduced resources or income in order to reduce or avoid the parent’s obligation for child support; provided that incarceration shall not be considered voluntary unemployment, unless such incarceration is the result of non-payment of a child support order, or an offense against the custodial parent or child who is the subject of the order or judgment.
Additionally, the Court may include the following “self-employment deductions” as imputed income: (A) any depreciation deduction greater than depreciation calculated on a straight-line basis for the purpose of determining business income or investment credits, and (B) entertainment and travel allowances deducted from business income to the extent said allowances reduce personal expenditures.