Child support is determined by a complicated algebraic formula that requires a computer program to calculate. The three principal factors in the formula are:
- number of children
- amount of time the children spend with each parent (often referred to as timeshare and expressed as a percentage)
- income of each parent
Timeshare is discussed under the topic, Child Custody and Visitation.
Overtime, Bonuses, Commission Considered
The income of each parent is easy to determine should each parent receives a salary, and that is all the pay each receives. But it is more complicated if income varies due to overtime, bonus, commission, or incentive pay. Another variable is stock options (yes, some people are still making money from their options). I have sustantial experience in calculating child support when either parent’s income varies due to these or other factors.
My Spouse is Unemployed or “Underemployed”
Another very important consideration is whether a party should be employed, and if so, what income should be attributed (imputed) to her and him. Also, whether a party is “underemployed” (working less than full time or for an unreasonably low income). For such a person the Court can require a “vocational evaluation”, job coaching, or even order that she or he seek work, and then report regularly and in detain the effort to find work. I also have substantial experience in these areas.