Commission income & child support


Dear nextex:

Greetings. You are more likely going to have a set amount on a monthly basis (based on a flat salary rate) and a percentage of bonuses/commissions in excess of that amount. I can promise that is better than what child support enforcement is likely to do, which is a set monthly amount based on all yearly income…that would be an “ouch” in his situation. One month he may have to pay his total paycheck to child support. Good luck.

Janet L. Fritts
Attorney with Rosen Divorce
4101 Lake Boone Trail, Suite 500
Raleigh, North Carolina 27607
919.787.6668 main phone
919.256.1665 direct fax

10925 David Taylor Drive, Suite 100
Charlotte, North Carolina 28262
704.644.2831 main voice
704.307.4595 main fax


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Non-custodial parent is paid based on commission sales (but he’s not self-employed & doesn’t get a 1099 at year end). Income has been as little as $2,000 one month and $7,000 another month however the longer he remains with the company the larger his income has climbed based on reaching new plateaus and certifications with his company. He has been there less than a year. Obviously he doesn’t want to have to pay a set amount per month because his income fluctuates and doesn’t think it’s fair to be subject to arrest for failure to pay. The North Carolina child support guidelines read as follows:
"When income is received on an irregular, non-recurring, or one-time basis, the court may average or prorate the income over a specified period of time or require an obligor to pay as child support a percentage of his or her non-recurring income that is equivalent to the percentage of his or her recurring income paid for child support."
My question is could his monthly child support payment be based on a flat percentage of his monthly earnings? Yes, it would make my personal budgeting a nightmare never knowing how much I’d receive and maybe we could agree on a percentage with a guarantee that the monthly minimum would be no less than $400 or whatever seems fair. I don’t want him to face arrest because that would be detrimental to my children’s emotional health … but by the same token I think the children should incrementally benefit from his income as much as they do from mine. However, in the last 13 months he’s given me less than $1500 and I have no choice but to ask DSS to establish and enforce a support agreement. Thanks!