There is a lot that a Missouri court must consider when making decisions regarding child support. Child support calculations are form based, and courts are expected to follow certain "formulas" when making these decisions, but there is also room for the court's discretion when it comes to income such as overtime pay.
If you have questions regarding your overtime income and how it may affect your child support obligations or the obligations of your former spouse, experienced Missouri divorce attorney Joshua Wilson is here to give you the advice and representation you need.
Determining Child Support Amounts
When a court comes to the question of child support in a Missouri divorce proceeding, it takes great care to make sure the best interests of the child are protected. To help courts with this process and to make child support more uniform throughout the state, courts use Form 14 to help make that determination.
Form 14 focuses on both parents "gross income," which includes all income, earned or unearned, that exists before any deductions are taken out. For a more detailed explanation of how child support is calculated, visit my child support page.
Is Overtime Pay Included in My Gross Income?
Overtime pay is not always included in gross income, but it may be included in proper circumstances. When deciding whether to include overtime pay in a person's gross income calculation, the court will consider the following.
- Periods of temporary child custody.
- The reasons behind the parent working any overtime hours over the last three years.
- The amount of the overtime compensation.
- The reasonable expectation that the overtime will or is likely to continue.
- Any additional dependents the parent working overtime may have.
In deciding whether to include overtime pay as part of a person's gross income, the court must consider all of these factors. Adding in overtime without considering these factors can lead to an unfair representation of a person's income, or failing to add a person's overtime in can leave the other parent with less than the appropriate amount of child support.
Bonuses and Significant Employment Related Benefits
The same factors and analysis must also occur for any bonuses or other significant employment related benefits. Bonuses are unique creatures of income as they may be sporadic "awards" that are more of a "one time thing," or they could be a recurring part of an employee's compensation structure.
This is especially true of corporate management type employees. Often "bonuses" occur at set times every year and may even be in the same amount each year, or at least similar amounts. If this is the case, a court is more likely to include that compensation as part of a person's gross income calculation.
Consult a Missouri Divorce Attorney
Understanding the process for calculating child support and how overtime pay and bonuses can affect that calculation is an important part of the divorce process. With the help of experienced Cass County attorney Joshua Wilson, you will go into the divorce process with power, knowledge, and confidence.
Contact the Joshua Wilson Law Firm today at (816) 331-9968 for a consultation.