Child support can be one of the most divisive issues for couples going through divorce proceedings. There is often quite a gap between what each party considers fair, and it's likely that at least one person won't be satisfied with the court order. Child support is largely determined by the amount of the parents' combined incomes, making it essential that the courts get an accurate picture of both you and your ex's financial situations.
When one party, or even both, is a business owner, it can make pinning down an exact income figure more complicated. These people often have other types of compensation that are not immediately apparent on a paystub or W-2. These may include a company car, housing allowance, bonuses or a profit-sharing plan. Depending on the situation, these items may qualify as income that must be reported to the courts so child support can be determined.
The child support guidelines handle certain types of extra income, such as bonuses, in certain ways, often averaging them over a period of years or only counting a percentage to the income used to determine child support. It's not unusual for the party who is going to be paying child support to balk at the amount or to try to misrepresent income in an attempt to lower the support amount.
If you believe this may be happening in your case, it's important to talk with a family law attorney. We have resources that can help uncover hidden revenue and income sources, which may help you in getting a fair child support order from the courts.