When Colorado parents pay child support, the amount of their income that is factored into the formula dictating what they will pay is not always cut and dry. Beyond salary, there are a number of other things that can be considered income or impact the court's calculation.
A parent's earnings may not just be limited to what they make at their primary job. They may also have dividend or investment income, and these are both counted when courts calculate how much the parent makes. Generally, any type of earned income from a job or any other source can be counted. Courts may even go beyond that to reach things such as corporate contributions to a retirement account or perks.
Courts will generally dig deeper beyond what they see on tax returns or earnings statements in front of them. For example, if a parent's lifestyle far exceeds their income, a court could impute a higher income to that parent. In addition, if a parent works less than they could, a court may view them as underemployed and adjust their calculations accordingly. Parents should be careful about trying to take steps to reduce their income to avoid paying child support because a court may not let them get away with it.
Those who are involved in a situation where child support is required to be paid might consult with a family law attorney to see which types of income a court considers subject to the child support formula. The attorney may advise those who are receiving child support about whether they could file for a modification with the court based on possible additions to the spouse's income. On the other side, the attorney may help the other parent argue to the court why certain things should be considered income.