COURT CAN INCLUDE ALL SOURCES OF INCOME WHEN CALCULATING CHILD SUPPORT
When calculating child support, the Court will examine the gross income of the parties and the placement schedule with the children. Most often the only income source of the parties are their wages received from their employers. That doesn’t mean that a Court cannot consider other sources of income when calculating child support, like lottery winnings or personal injury settlements.
A case which illustrates this point is In re Marriage of Lyman v. Lyman. After the parties had divorced, the husband received a multi-million dollar settlement from a wrongful termination of employment lawsuit. The wife asked that the Court include the settlement amount received by husband for purposes of calculating child support. The husband argued that the settlement was not income and not subject to child support. The trial court found that the entire settlement amount was considered income for child support purposes and awarded the wife a substantial sum of money.
The husband appealed the award of the trial court and the Court of Appeals noted that all income is presumed to be available to meet a parent’s obligation to support his or her child. Child support payments are designed to maintain the children’s standard of living at the economic level they would have enjoyed had there been no divorce. The husband’s claim that the settlement should not be included in his gross income was rejected by the Court of Appeals.
If you have any family law related issues that you need assistance with, contact our office and ask for Greg.