When going through a divorce, the judge may order one person to provide spousal or child support to the other. These decisions entail looking at certain income factors, which ensure both the person remitting payment and the person receiving it are treated fairly. To determine the correct amount, the court will perform a comprehensive income evaluation.
All types of income are considered
When you think of income, you usually imagine wages earned from work. However, for the purposes of child and spousal support, all types of income can be used to calculate the right figure. Along with salary, the court will consider employment bonuses, contributions to your retirement account by your employer, signing bonuses, passive income (such as money earned through rental properties), investment dividends, and other types of income.
Support may be calculated on prospective income
Along with your actual income, your income potential may also be considered by the court. This is especially true for people who were more gainfully employed during their marriages and who are now earning much less. Education can be a factor in income potential, as a person who is highly educated has a greater chance of finding gainful employment.
How you can impact the amount of support you are ordered to pay
Asset division also has an impact on the amount of support calculated. It is possible to give up more of your portion of shared assets to lower support payments. You can also alter the timing of the divorce so only certain information is included during the income evaluation. As an example, waiting to file until your income is lower than it was in previous years can result in less support being ordered.