If you are going through a divorce or are contemplating doing so, you may fear about your children's future and how marriage dissolution may affect your relationship with them. Though child custody arrangements may be your primary concern, you should also think about child support. The amount of support, which is typically set by the court, could leave you strapped for cash, no matter which side of the arrangement you are on.
To gain a better understanding of child support it might be helpful to learn more about how the child support and how it is determined. Child support is income driven, meaning that the amount is reliant upon each parent's income. But what, exactly, counts as income? When it comes to a noncustodial parent, all earnings must be taken into account. This includes salary and wages, overtime income, income from interest and investments, pension income, annuities, benefits from Social Security, and veteran and military benefits.
Income is interpreted to be quite expansive. Prizes like lottery winnings, educational grants, alimony, self-employment income, and a new spouse's earnings can all be counted as income for child support determination purposes. Even perks of a job, like the use of a business vehicle and reimbursable expenses, can be attributed to one's income. Therefore, what you might think is safe from child support consideration may in fact play a pivotal role.
Whether you are seeking child support, an increase in the amount, or a decrease in the amount you are required to pay, it may be beneficial to discuss your matter with a legal professional. By analyzing your unique case and the surrounding circumstances, an experienced Arizona family law attorney may be able to help you settle your child support dispute in a way that is fair and allows you to continue with life without being financially devastated.
Source: FindLaw, "Child Support: Determining Parents' Income," accessed on Feb. 14, 2015