CHILD SUPPORT’S JUST A FORMULA, RIGHT? HOW HARD CAN IT BE? (Part 5)

More of the most common issues that I see when calculating child support:

Overtime Income

When a parent’s income includes overtime, parties often argue about whether the overtime income should be included in calculating child support.  One part of the Colorado child support law states that overtime pay is included as income only if the overtime is required by the employer as a condition of employment.  In essence, this means that if the parent can turn down the chance to work the overtime, it’s generally not included in the income figure used for child support. 

However, as I discussed in my Child Support blog #3, another part of the Colorado child support law states that a court may (not shall) deviate from the child support guideline formula if there is consistent overtime not considered in the income figure used to calculate child support.  

In practice, this means that the court cannot mathematically include the voluntary overtime income of a parent when it enters that parent’s income into the child support calculation.  However, once the court has produced the child support figure resulting from the calculation, the court can then adjust that child support figure up or down as it deems fair because a parent has consistent voluntary overtime income.

Income from Second Jobs

If a parent is employed full-time and voluntarily chooses to take a second job, the income from the second job is not included in that parent’s income when calculating child support.  The Colorado legislature doesn’t want to punish a parent who seeks to make more income by working a second job, so it excluded second job income from child support calculations.  Note: if the parent is employed less than full-time at his/her first job, it’s likely that either the second job income will be included, or the parent will be imputed full-time income at the first job.

However, just like voluntary overtime (and as I discussed in my Child Support blog #3), a parent’s income that is more than full-time or is from second jobs can be considered as a reason to deviate from the child support guidelines.