In normal circumstances, child support is a fairly routine matter and is easily calculated. Both parties complete an Affidavit of Financial Means and child support is based off the last three paystubs of the non-custodial parent. Problems arise, however, when one of the parties is self-employed.
Establishing or modifying a child support order against a self-employed noncustodial parent can be a challenging task. Even if the noncustodial parent pays himself with a regular paystub, that paystub is not going to accurately reflect his yearly income. The affidavit of financial means requires the noncustodial parent to attach the last two years of income tax returns if they are self-employed, but that does not account for current year’s income.
To show the Court the true income of the self-employed party, you must first look to Administrative Order No. 10. The key difference between this Order and the Affidavit of Financial Means is that Admin Order 10 requires the Court to consider the quarterly financial estimates of the noncustodial parent for the current year. These estimates allow the Court to determine the actual current income of the noncustodial parent.
Administrative Order No. 10, however, is just the first step. There are multiple complications which could arise when a noncustodial parent is self-employed. To resolve these issues, an experienced family law attorney is needed and you may need the services of a forensic accountant.
Nathan B. Lewis
Attorney at Law
Bowman & Lewis, PLLC
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