The request­ing spouse must dis­close all infor­ma­tion about income and expens­es.

For child sup­port, the judge will use a def­i­n­i­tion very sim­i­lar to what is used by the IRS: Income is all income from what­ev­er source derived. This includes income from salary, com­mis­sions, bonus­es, pub­lic assis­tance, spousal sup­port (but not child sup­port), part­ner sup­port, pen­sion or retire­ment fund pay­ments, social secu­ri­ty retire­ment (but not SSI), dis­abil­i­ty pay­ments, unem­ploy­ment com­pen­sa­tion, work­ers com­pen­sa­tion pay­ments, and any oth­er source of income. In addi­tion, income incud­es div­i­dend and inter­est income from invest­ments, rental prop­er­ty income, and trust income. Income also includes income from a busi­ness inter­est such as a sole pro­pri­etor­ship, a part­ner­ship, or anoth­er busi­ness inter­est.

Cer­tain things are deduct­ed from and are not includ­ed in income. For exam­ple, deduc­tions include required union dues, required retire­ment pay­ments (such as required pen­sion pay­ments, but not IRAs, FICA or 401(k) deduc­tions) med­ical or health insur­ance pre­mi­ums, child sup­port pay­ments for chil­dren of oth­er rela­tion­ships, spousal sup­port pay­ments from a dif­fer­ent rela­tion­ship, part­ner sup­port pay­ments from a dif­fer­ent rela­tion­ship, and nec­es­sary job-relat­ed expens­es not reim­bursed by the employ­er.

Expens­es gen­er­al­ly include all expens­es or cash out­flows that you pay each month. Month­ly expens­es should cov­er all mem­bers of the house­hold actu­al­ly sup­port­ed by you or con­tribut­ing to your expense. The expens­es should not include any expens­es for the oth­er spouse or part­ner.

You want to be as accu­rate as pos­si­ble with the expens­es. For exam­ple, if you change the oil in your car every 3 months (once a quar­ter), mul­ti­ply the cost of an oil change by 4, and then divide by 12, to come up with an aver­age month­ly amount. If a cer­tain expense occurs only once every sev­er­al years, it is still impor­tant to aver­age it in as a month­ly expense. For exam­ple, if you paint your house every five years at a cost of approx­i­mate­ly $1,000.00, that would aver­age out to $200.00 per year or approx­i­mate­ly $17.00 per month. You would list this expense under “main­te­nance” on the Income and Expense Dec­la­ra­tion (Judi­cial Coun­cil Form FL-150).

While this seems like a lot of infor­ma­tion (and it is!), remem­ber that the Income and Expense Dec­la­ra­tion is required in every divorce and if you ask for child or spousal sup­port. Your case will be helped if you sub­mit a com­plete, accu­rate, and thor­ough Income and Expense Dec­la­ra­tion to the judge.

Rest assured that the oth­er par­ent will have to do the same thing: The oth­er par­ent is required to file and serve an Income and Expense Dec­la­ra­tion just as you are. The oth­er parent’s income must be dis­closed so the judge can deter­mine income avail­able for sup­port. If the oth­er par­ent has a job and a reg­u­lar pay­check, the oth­er parent’s pay stubs are the best proof of that parent’s income. The oth­er parent’s pay stubs must be attached to that party’s Income and Expense Dec­la­ra­tion. If the oth­er par­ent is self-employed, the company’s prof­it and loss state­ments, tax returns, and bank state­ments can all be used to prove the oth­er party’s income.

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