Change in circumstance with pay decrease

I had a child age out this past June, with one remaining to do new calculations. I have also taken a pay cut due to Covid, I was making more in March than I am now making in July. Does the new calculation get based off my new monthly gross income or is it based on what I will make for the year from what I was making before the cut and calculating it out for the remainder of the year. Meaning, if I made 5k per month through March (5k x 3 months = 15k) and 4k per month for the remainder of the year (4k x 9 months = 36k) would the calculation be based off the combination (15k + 36k = 51k / 12) at $4250 or the 4k I am making per month for the remainder of the year?

Recalculation of child support should be based on current income, especially if your reduced income is an involuntary reduction, meaning your employer cut your pay for example instead of your pay decreasing because of some act you took, and especially if your pay reduction is permanent or for the indefinite foreseeable future.


Anna Ayscue

Attorney with Rosen Law Firm Cary • Chapel Hill • Durham • Raleigh • Wake Forest

Rosen Online | Unlimited confidential access to a North Carolina attorney for $199/mo - click here

The response posted above is based upon the limited factual information made available and is not intended as a full and complete response to the question. The only reliable manner to obtain complete and adequate legal advice is to consult with an attorney, fully explain your situation, and allow the attorney sufficient opportunity to research the applicable law and facts required to render an accurate opinion. The basic information provided above is intended as a public service only, a full discussion with an attorney should be undertaken before taking any action. The information posted on this forum is available for public viewing and is not intended to create an attorney client relationship with any individual. These answers are provided for informational purposes only, a person should consult with their own individual legal counsel before taking any action that could affect their legal rights or obligations.

Thank you for letting me know. How are bonuses calculated into your monthly gross since they are not an every month thing, they aren’t consistent and at the moment non-existent given the current situation? Should a bonus from last year be included as part of your monthly gross for this year and moving forward?

Yes, usually bonuses are included in your monthly gross income for the child support worksheet, even if they are irregularly paid. You would determine how much the bonus is, or historically has been, in one calendar year, then divide by 12 for the monthly average, and add that amount onto that parent’s monthly gross income.

In the alternative, you can also negotiate a percentage of the gross bonus and not include the bonus income in the child support worksheet. Instead, the bonus would be paid to the other parent based on the agreed on percentage. Typically the percentage is the percent of the monthly obligation compared to the monthly gross income. For example, if the parent’s monthly gross income is $10,000 and his/her monthly child support obligation at the bottom of the worksheet is $1,000, then that parent would pay 10% on his/her gross bonus to the recipient parent.


Anna Ayscue

Attorney with Rosen Law Firm Cary • Chapel Hill • Durham • Raleigh • Wake Forest

Rosen Online | Unlimited confidential access to a North Carolina attorney for $199/mo - click here

The response posted above is based upon the limited factual information made available and is not intended as a full and complete response to the question. The only reliable manner to obtain complete and adequate legal advice is to consult with an attorney, fully explain your situation, and allow the attorney sufficient opportunity to research the applicable law and facts required to render an accurate opinion. The basic information provided above is intended as a public service only, a full discussion with an attorney should be undertaken before taking any action. The information posted on this forum is available for public viewing and is not intended to create an attorney client relationship with any individual. These answers are provided for informational purposes only, a person should consult with their own individual legal counsel before taking any action that could affect their legal rights or obligations.

Thank you, Anna! You have been very helpful!