I have been paying child support based on a court decree. I am in the midst of changing jobs that will net me moderately more in overall income, but some of that income (or total compensation) consists of a car allowance and phone reimbursement. My question is…do these parts of my compensation play a role in the child support calculator? My ex and I are going to try to come up with an agreeable amount based on the support calculator. Or, should this be done through the courts since this was a court ordered decree? If so, is an increase in total income enough to warrant a “significant change in circumstances”? I know that is two questions, but any help is appreciated. Thanks.
If the child support obligation is in a court order, any modification you do should also be in a court order. You can draft the order as a consent order and submit it to the judge. Part of the consent would need to include that the parties consent that there has been a substantial change in circumstances, whether a court would find one or not. You will still need to file a motion to modify child support prior to submission of the consent order. Reimbursement for a car or telephone should be considered income if you can use the car or telephone for personal use as well. If these are solely business expenses, I believe there could be arguments to exclude them even though the definition of income in the child support guidelines is not clear on this fact.