One of the most common questions that we will discuss at the beginning of your case is your income. The definition of “income” under ohio law is found at Ohio Revised Code 3119.01. Here is a list (according to statute) that your county Child Support Enforcement Agency (CSEA) or the Court will utilize in determining how much child support you will owe or receive. That statute says that the following things DO count as income for Ohio child support:
- overtime pay, bonuses and commission ( the SMALLEST NUMBER of the two following must be used: the yearly average of all overtime, commissions and bonuses for the last three years OR the total overtime, commissions and bonuses received during the year before the year when the child support obligation is being calculated.)
- severance pay
- trust income
- social security benefits, including retirement, disability, and survivor benefits that are not means-tested
- workers’ compensation benefits
- unemployment insurance benefits
- disability insurance benefits
- benefits that are not means-tested and that are received by and in the possession of the veteran who is the beneficiary for any service-connected disability under a program or law administered by the United States department of veterans’ affairs or veterans’ administration
- spousal support actually received
- all other sources of income.
- For members of any branch of the United States armed services or national guard:
- base pay
- basic allowance for housing (BAH). This replaced basic allowance for quarters (BAQ) and variable housing allowance (VAH) in 1998.
- basic allowance for subsistence (BAS)
- family supplemental subsistence allowance (FSSA)
- cost of living adjustment
- specialty pay
- variable housing allowance
- pay for training or other types of required drills;
- self-generated income (self-employed or business owner)
- potential cash flow from any source
It is my job to advise you about how to determine your income and to assure that your ex-spouse is revealing all of the sources of their income. I will use the information you provide to shape a plan that we can use to obtain a fair settlement. The proper determination of “income” will also be used to prepare an argument which will be presented to the court for determining “temporary orders.” It is also important to understand when using a team of experts (detective, forensic accountants, tax specialists) may aid in preparing for divorce litigation.
In some jurisdictions, temporary orders are issued based on the filing of affidavits of the parties. Other courts will require the parties to provide testimony or allow their attorneys to present argument without a full hearing. Some courts will have separate hearings on issues involving temporary support and custody/parenting issues. Many more cases go to full hearing on temporary order issues than go to full divorce hearings. Needless to say, your attorney should advise you about the court’s proclivities and how they will strategize to get you to a comfortable point from which to make future decisions. Communication, communication, communication.
It is common for the temporary order litigation to be as significant (if not more significant) than the final divorce disposition. The issuance of temporary orders is usually the first important thing to happen in a divorce. It also follows close in time to the filing and the parties are at their most emotional. Temporary orders may also serve as a precedent for how both parties and the court will view negotiations and the final decision of the court. Temporary orders set the stage.
Jamie L. Anderson dedicates her practice to representing families through the changes of a divorce or dissolution. She has made herself one of the Miami Valley’s most prominent matrimonial attorneys and will use her experience to secure your family, your finances and your future. Contact Jamie L. Anderson at (937) 879-9542 or visit www.OhioDivorceAttorney.com to learn more.