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How is Income Defined for Purposes of Child Support?

When going through a divorce or custody hearing, it will be necessary to determine who (if anyone) will be awarded child support, and how much. There are a number of factors that go into calculating how much child support is awarded, but the biggest thing is going to be the income of each party. Understanding how income is defined for establishing child support will help you to know how much you will have to pay, or how much you will be receiving.

Defining Income

When it comes to child support cases in Arkansas, the courts will include any type of payment that you receive as a form of income. It does not matter whether the source of the income is from a full time job, freelance work, salary, commissions, bonuses, or any other type of compensation. The courts will also include any payments that are due from things like disability, worker’s compensation, pension or retirement payments, and interest.

All of these sources will be combined together to determine how much each party makes. That information can then be used to calculate the amount of child support that needs to be paid based on how many children are involved.

Self Employed Income

If someone is self-employed, the courts will determine their income by looking at financial information from the prior two years. They will want to see individual federal income tax returns, state tax returns, and quarterly estimates. Based on that information they will come up with the estimated amount that they expect the person who is self-employed to make in the coming years. In some situations, there may be extenuating circumstances that the courts can take into account. For example, if your ex has recently landed a major new client that will double his income, but it has not yet shown up on any tax documents, the courts can factor this in.

Demand a Fair Child Support Agreement

While the methods that the Arkansas courts use are standardized, there may be certain factors that can influence their results. In addition, there are many other things that go into calculating the exact amount of child support that changes hands. Things like the number of children involved, what types of childcare are needed, and more. Having an experienced family law attorney at your side will help ensure the child support order issued by the court is fair for all parties involved. Contact OMG Law Firm to schedule a consultation and get personalized information about what you can expect.

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At the OMG Law Firm, we take pride in our client-focused approach — the people who walk through our doors are more than just clients to us. They are families going through difficult changes, business owners in search of more room to grow, and injured workers looking to plan out the next stages of their lives.

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