Military and Child Support

I am a military member and I move around often. I have contacted several court houses and attorneys including those services provided on base only to continue to receive the run around. My question is that in a child support case, when calculating child support amount are non-taxable income items required in the total gross monthly income? For example, combat pay, housing pay. Also, are military bonuses included if received 3 years ago? thank you for your help.

The North Carolina Child Support Guidelines :

(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.

Specifically excluded are benefits received from means-tested public assistance programs, including but not limited to Temporary Assistance to Needy Families (TANF), Supplemental Security Income (SSI), Food Stamps and General Assistance.

Social security benefits received for the benefit of a child as a result of the disability or retirement of either parent are included as income attributed to the parent on whose earnings record the benefits are paid, but are deducted from that parent’s child support obligation.

Except as otherwise provided, income does not include the income of a person who is not a parent of a child for whom support is being determined regardless of whether that person is married to or lives with the child’s parent or has physical custody of the child.

(2) Income from self-employment or operation of a business. Gross income from self-employment, rent, royalties, proprietorship of a business, or joint ownership of a partnership or closely held corporation, is defined as gross receipts minus ordinary and necessary expenses required for self-employment or business operation. Ordinary and necessary business expenses do not include amounts allowable by the Internal Revenue Service for the accelerated component of depreciation expenses, investment tax credits, or any other business expenses determined by the court to be inappropriate for determining gross income. In general, income and expenses from self-employment or operation of a business should be carefully reviewed to determine an appropriate level of gross income available to the parent to satisfy a child support obligation. In most cases, this amount will differ from a determination of business income for tax purposes.

Expense reimbursements or in-kind payments (for example, use of a company car, free housing, or reimbursed meals) received by a parent in the course of employment, self-employment, or operation of a business are counted as income if they are significant and reduce personal living expenses.

(3) Potential or Imputed Income. If the court finds that the parent’s voluntary unemployment or underemployment is the result of a parent’s bad faith or deliberate suppression of income to avoid or minimize his or her child support obligation, child support may be calculated based on the parent’s potential, rather than actual, income. Potential income may not be imputed to a parent who is physically or mentally incapacitated or is caring for a child who is under the age of three years and for whom child support is being determined.

The amount of potential income imputed to a parent must be based on the parent’s employment potential and probable earnings level based on the parent’s recent work history, occupational qualifications and prevailing job opportunities and earning levels in the community. If the parent has no recent work history or vocational training, potential income should not be less than the minimum hourly wage for a 40-hour work week.

(4) Income Verification. Child support calculations under the guidelines are based on the parents’ current incomes at the time the order is entered. Income statements of the parents should be verified through documentation of both current and past income. Suitable documentation of current earnings (at least one full month) includes pay stubs, employer statements, or business receipts and expenses, if self-employed. Documentation of current income must be supplemented with copies of the most recent tax return to provide verification of earnings over a longer period. Sanctions may be imposed for failure to comply with this provision on the motion of a party or by the court on its own motion