Divorce comes with many financial considerations. When someone appears in North Carolina family court, he/she may wonder how a judge will rule regarding alimony and/or child support. A person’s income does factor into the decision. A top earner with significant means could be better positioned to pay a higher monthly amount than someone currently struggling. That said, the court could look at many different financial elements when rendering a decision.
Examining all avenues of earning and net worth
A judge would likely look at things besides what a person earns. The judge may look at investments, unrealized capital gains, job perks and many other financial assets. A spouse might find the thoroughness to be greater than anticipated.
A judge could also consider the other spouse’s current lifestyle and the educational expenses of the children. Monthly payments may intend to maintain the current standard of living.
Often, the courts consider averages. One high-earning year may not sway the court much, but neither would an off-year presenting reduced earnings.
Other issues of concern that spouses may face
What happens when someone earns less money than they could otherwise earn? If the court discovers someone could earn a much higher living in another occupation, the judge could set alimony or child support higher than current earnings deliver. So, someone who chooses to quit a higher paying job for one with less stress and fewer hours might find him/herself obligated to payments based on the previous career.
Those who attempt to hide income from the tax authorities might find themselves facing scrutiny by the courts. Expect the courts to review a recent income tax return to see reported income, dividends, interest and deductions. The court might compare the information on the return. If lifestyle expenses don’t match the return, the court might have questions about possible additional income.
The court considers many things when coming up with alimony and child support figures. A client may rely on an attorney to argue for a reasonable amount.