As with other family law matters, child support calculations can work a bit differently if one or both parents have a high income.
In many respects, child support works the same across the board. High-earners will still have child support calculated under Utah’s Child Support Guidelines. However, it is important to know that when a household has a high income, these Guidelines may apply a little bit differently, which can prompt questions and lead to disputes.
Calculation for high-earners is at the court’s discretion
For example, the Guidelines only account for household income up to a certain amount. Beyond that, judges are expected to consider the facts of the case and decide what amount of support is appropriate. In situations like these, the minimum amount of support that can be ordered is generally the highest amount listed on the Guidelines.
Since the judge has a fair amount of leeway here, the parents can present arguments. One parent, for example, could point out how the other could certainly afford more support given his or her income. Alternatively, the other parent might question how much support above and beyond the Guidelines a child truly needs to maintain a standard of living. In these scenarios, both parents would have to provide legal support and documentation for their respective positions.
Other income issues may also affect high-earners in child support cases
High-earners may also have to deal with other issues in child support cases that typically do not impact other Utah residents. For example, many people who make a lot of money receive income from a number of sources, including investments and profits from a business.
This type of income can be trickier to calculate than, say, income from a salaried or hourly job. What constitutes business profit for child support purposes, for instance, can be different from what is shown on that business’s tax return. Income from other investments may also have special implications for child support.
There are a variety of aspects involved in calculating child support, especially for high-earners. This is why it is important to speak with an experienced family law attorney to help guide and represent you through this process. For a free consultation with a family law attorney, please call Kristopher K. Greenwood & Associates at 801-475-8800.