Is travel-based income included in child support?


#1

I just started a new position which will include travel during the year, however it is need-based and with no firm schedule. There is the potential that I could be on the road for 8-9months in a year, and when I am traveling the job shifts from 8hrs/day to 12 and comes with a 50% salary differential to compensate, as well as a stipend to cover living expenses while away from home. Are these adjustments to my base salary accounted for in the support calculator? And how would we adjust for the inconsistency year over year?


#2

Any increase in your base salary should be included as your income in the child support calculation. In cases like yours where the income is variable, a lot of times its appropriate to take an average of several months salary to come up with a figure that accounts for ups and downs in your month-to-month income.


#3

Would the daily stipend, intended to reimburse for expenses incurred from being away from home (cabs, food, laundry etc…), count toward income? Or would we simply use the differential in salary?


#4

The North Carolina Child Support Guidelines define income as:

“(1) Gross Income. “Income” means a parent’s actual gross income from any source, including but not limited to income from employment or self-employment (salaries, wages, commissions, bonuses, dividends, severance pay, etc.), ownership or operation of a business, partnership, or corporation, rental of property, retirement or pensions, interest, trusts, annuities, capital gains, social security benefits, workers compensation benefits, unemployment insurance benefits, disability pay and insurance benefits, gifts, prizes and alimony or maintenance received from persons other than the parties to the instant action. 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.”

You travel reimbursement and stipend should not be considered income, but the other parent could cite it as a reason to deviate from the guidelines.