Child Support & Bonuses
Child support is a major financial consideration in divorces with children and custody actions. But what about child support and bonuses? Do courts include a parent’s bonus in her income when calculating child support?
Read on to learn more.
Determining Child Support
In determining child support, courts consider a multitude of factors as listed in Connecticut General Statutes Section 46b-8. In addition to these factors, the Connecticut Child Support Guidelines provide a mathematical formula to provide some predictability and consistency when determining child support.
Under the Connecticut Child Support Guidelines, courts use each parent’s net income to calculate support. Connecticut law defines “net income” as “gross income minus allowable deductions.” Courts can include salary, commissions, bonuses, pension income, retirement income, and trust income in “gross income.”
In other words, courts can include bonuses in a parent’s income for purposes of the child support calculation. But that’s not the end of the story.
Bonuses and Child Support
Bonuses are a complicated issue in calculating child support. It makes sense — a bonus, by its very nature, often involves a degree of uncertainty as to frequency and/or amount.
For example, for some parents, employer bonuses are relatively small and unpredictable. For other parents — such as high-level executives, shareholders, partners, or salespeople — bonuses may be regular and represent a significant portion of the family’s income. Some high net worth families primary source of income is via employer bonuses.
Importantly, in some families, even bonuses that are not guaranteed are a substantial cash flow source. The court makes a case-by-case determination on whether and how to include bonuses in child support calculations.
The specifics of child support might work for you depend on the ins and outs of your situation and your goals.
Our first step at Freed Marcroft, the Goals & Planning Conference, is designed to get to the heart of your problem and unveil your true goals for your life. Once we discover your goals for your life, we are able to take all of our collective experience with divorce, law, the available ways to divorce, strategy, courts, judges, and other lawyers, and build a divorce customized for you.