Calculating Bonuses into Child Support
When child support is initially calculated on the non-custodial parent’s income, we or the court considers and assesses all of the sources of income that the parent has. Many support payers in sales, management, or executive positions receive a fair amount of income, by way of bonuses. Some courts will assess basic child support based on the base income alone, and will add a prevision each time a bonus is made. This way, the child support will be paid upon the bonus. Of course, this will require some level of policing and record keeping over time.
Other courts will simply assess child support based upon the entire income from the prior year, or an average of the last 2 or 3 years. When that occurs, the party that receives the bonus is paying support on all income, including anticipated bonuses. It may or may not be fair, and you really need to discuss that with your attorney. This will assess the certainly of the bonuses, and how often they are paid. This should be done before you enter into a child support agreement, or before you present proof to a court about how income is actually earned in your particular case.