Child support is complicated, but self-employment makes the calculations even more difficult. If you work for yourself, income is not always consistent or guaranteed. On the other hand, if your ex-spouse is self-employed, they might try to hide income from you.
According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, over 10 million self-employed individuals are in the United States. With self-employment becoming more common, you need to understand how this affects child support after a divorce or separation.
Calculating child support
One of the complicating aspects of self-employment is the expenses. Self-employed parents must deduct business expenses to get an accurate view of net profit. However, a dishonest individual might exaggerate or misrepresent their expenditure. For example, personal items or recreational activities may show up on their deductions as an attempt to lower their income. As the spouse, you probably have a reasonable idea of their lifestyle. If something seems suspicious, request their financial documents and bank statements. A standard tool for calculating child support is the spouse’s tax returns.
Consequences for dishonesty
Attempting to hide your income will only hurt self-employed parents in the long run. The court might order you to pay fines, find you in contempt, or pay your spouse’s attorney fees. Keep your child’s best interest in mind and work for a fair child support amount.
Spouses who are honest with each other create a better environment for their children. Also, being forthcoming with your income might save you money in the long run because you will not have to worry about court fees or restitution.