Child Support Questions and Answers
As a family law attorney with offices in Fort Lauderdale and Weston, the most common question I am asked during an initial divorce interview (where the parties have minor children) is, “What will I owe in child support?” or “What will my spouse owe me in child support?”
Although I cannot respond to this question with a simple one sentence answer, I can answer some more specific, yet common child support related issues (over a series of articles) which will help my clients understand the factors that the Court considers when determining child support obligations.
Common Issue #1
In many cases, one spouse will under-estimate his/her income. This commonly occurs in situations where one spouse is: (1) a non-W2 employee; (2) self employed; and/or (3) receives payments in cash. To help resolve this income-related dispute, the Court, considers the factors laid out in Florida Statute 61.30 (2)(a)(1).
What constitutes income for the calculation of Child Support?
(a) Gross income shall include, but is not limited to, the following:
1. Salary or wages.
2. Bonuses, commissions, allowances, overtime, tips, and other similar payments.
3. Business income from sources such as self-employment, partnership, close corporations, and independent contracts. “Business income” means gross receipts minus ordinary and necessary expenses required to produce income.
4. Disability benefits.
5. All workers’ compensation benefits and settlements.
6. Reemployment assistance or unemployment compensation.
7. Pension, retirement, or annuity payments.
8. Social security benefits.
9. Spousal support received from a previous marriage or court ordered in the marriage before the court.
10. Interest and dividends.
11. Rental income, which is gross receipts minus ordinary and necessary expenses required to produce the income.
12. Income from royalties, trusts, or estates.
13. Reimbursed expenses or in kind payments to the extent that they reduce living expenses.
14. Gains derived from dealings in property, unless the gain is nonrecurring.
Furthermore, in the discovery process, both parties are required to disclose their complete and accurate financial picture (including 1040s and 1120s) – also called “mandatory disclosure”.
If you have minor children and are considering filing for divorce in Broward County, Florida (including Fort Lauderdale, Weston, Coral Springs, Parkland and Cooper City) you should speak with an experienced family law attorney to discuss your rights. Many divorce attorneys, including the family law attorneys at Lyons, Snyder & Collin, offer consultations free of charge.