Update: Father’s employee perks factored into child support

On behalf of Stange Law Firm, PC posted in Child Support on Saturday, October 19, 2013.

Back in June we posted about a father who did not want his employee perks to be included as income when calculating how much he owes in child support. This request came after the man asked for a reduction in how much he was already paying in child support. He based his modification request around the fact that his salary was cut in half due to a decrease in enrollment in the college he is the president of.

The case ended up going all the way to the state’s Supreme Court, which recently ruled fringe benefits should be included in the child support calculation. The idea behind this ruling was that some of his employee benefits — such as a company car and car insurance — are no different than if he was given the funds to make these purchases on his own.

In looking at this case, before going to the state’s Supreme Court, a domestic relations judge rejected the father’s request. Even though he was ordered to pay $2,200 a month in 2006 when he was earning $120,000 — and was now earning $75,000 a year after the recession — the judge said his $16,756 in fringe benefits should be factored in to his overall earnings.

In rejecting the request, it was noted the father’s fringe benefits included a company car, car insurance, cellphone service, and season football tickets to the university’s games.

In this most recent state Supreme Court ruling though, the justices did say the value of the football tickets should not have been included in his overall income calculation as these tickets are not for the father’s personal use, but are rather for employees or business associates.

Overall, what this case goes to show is that a number of factors are taken into consideration when determining how much a parent should be paying in child support and it is not always as straight forward as just what a parent’s net income is.

Source: The Medina-Gazette, “Ruling: Perks part of child support calculation,” Oct. 18, 2013

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