The amount of child support that a non-custodial parent has to pay is usually determined by income. This can lead some non-custodial parents to misrepresent their income in order to lower their child support payments. It's tough for a parent who works a standard job to hide their income, as the court can order them to show their paycheck stubs, which will reveal their income. But a parent who is self-employed must report their own income, which gives them the opportunity to be less than truthful. If you're dealing with this situation, how can you show that your spouse has more money than they claim?
In some cases, a court may impute income to the party that's supposed to pay child support. This means that the court assumes that the non-custodial parent has more income than has been shown, and then calculates child support based on that greater income. If you want the court to impute income to the other parent, you will need to demonstrate why you believe that the other parent has a higher income than they've shown the court.
One way to demonstrate that your self-employed non-custodial parent is hiding income is to show that their lifestyle is that of someone with a higher income. If the other parent has an expensive car, mortgage, or rent payments, if they travel frequently, or if they're known to splurge on expensive nonessential items, these can all be signs that the other parent is living above the means that they claim.
You can use photos, posts on social media, testimony from witnesses, and documentation like receipts to demonstrate to the court that your non-custodial parent is living the lifestyle of someone who makes more than they claim to be making. If the court agrees, they will impute additional income and base child support on that.
Another option is to have a forensic accountant evaluate financial documents belonging to the non-custodial parent. If your child support case goes to court, the judge can order your spouse to turn over financial documents in a process called discovery. A forensic accountant is trained to look at documents like bank statements and figure out from those what the person's actual income is.
In most cases, you would hire the forensic accountant to work with you and your attorney. In some scenarios, you may be able to ask the court to appoint a forensic accountant to the case.
Proving the income of a self-employed non-custodial parent takes some extra work, but it's worth it. A child support attorney, like those at http://www.cappolellalaw.com, can help make sure that your child support determination is fair.
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