According to a recent decision by the Ohio Supreme Court, employees may end up having to pay more in child support if they receive work benefits. The decision involved a case in which a couple divorce in 2006, and the husband subsequently petitioned a court to reduce his child support payment due his coming upon hard times. He denied that his receipt of work benefits should count against him.
The court said in the case that benefits received from work can effectively count as income, provided the employee receives the full benefit of those benefits. So, for instance, football tickets provided by an employer may be counted against an individual as income for purposes of child support.
The case, of course, does not affect Texans, who are already governed by a similar approach. Under Texas law, child support is calculated as a percentage of the net income of the non-custodial parent’s income. That percentage varies depending on the number of children involved and the number of other children the noncustodial spouse is also supporting.
Net income includes income from a variety of sources, including commissions, overtime pay, tips and bonuses. There are various assets that are not included in the calculation. By the time the monthly payment is calculated, it can sometimes be burdensome on the noncustodial parent, particularly if his or her circumstances change. When that happens, it is sometimes possible to have the child support order modified, if certain requirements are met. Of course, making a good legal argument is key to achieving a desirable outcome in such cases.
Source: The Columbus Dispatch, “Supreme Court: Job perks could increase child support payments,” Darrel Rowland, October 16, 2013.