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I am in the state of Iowa and am paying child support. Each year, there is a possibility that I will get a bonus from work. If we get it and what the amount will be is inconsistent from year to year so there is no guarantees that I will receive it.
In the state of Iowa, does anyone know if the potential bonus or previous year's bonus can be used to calculate child support? So, for example, I received a bonus in 2011 for my 2010 work year of $7,000. I then received a bonus in 2012 for my 2011 work year for $3,000. It is inconsistent amounts and, as I stated, is never a guaranteed thing.
Your bonus will be factored into your child support payments, I think that's a given.
The question is how will that be paid and how much. In my state bonuses are handled 1 of 2 ways. The decree can order that you will pay a % of the bonus to your ex when the bonus is received so the amount will go up or down along with the bonus amount, or the court will attempt to determine an average expected bonus amount and factor that into your regular CS payments. I'm betting the more likely option is the second one, but you might find Iowa case law concerning irregular bonuses that justifies the 1st option.
I do not know the specific guideline formula in Iowa. If I recall, it's a variant of income share that takes income differences & time in possession into account, but that's a vague recollection.
In some formulas / places, there's an upper limit. Like it TX, guidelines apply to the first $7500 in net income per month, and the CP needs to show why they would need more than, say, $1500 CS per month for one child, $2250 for two, etc., as that's a piece of change.
Unless an Iowegian with direct exposure to the IA rules chimes in, my best advice is Google the guideline parameters for Iowa or search for them off of this site's primary pages (outside the forums). In fact, I would be reading your statutes & getting quite intimately familiar with them.
If it looks like all income is included, or can be included, come up with the most conservative average possible on how it can be calculated. If you're new to getting the bonus income, I wouldn't even admit it in your financial disclosures, and I most certainly wouldn't volunteer it to her.
If you're not yet divorced, you have a different issue -- not only is the question "can the future bonus be taken into account in your CS calculations" but "can any bonus accrued year to date be considered marital property subject to division." In Texas, it is.
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CS is total monthly gross....when they pull your W-2, that is the number they will use. You're gonna get a little screw job. But hopefully bonuses after go up and you are safe from there until she tries to take you back.
In my case, NJ's bonuses are far bigger than mine and so is her salary..so I luck out.
How do you count overtime or bonuses when calculating my gross income?
If overtime pay has been consistent and regular, we use it in our calculation. If the overtime pay is not consistent or regular, you must give us a letter from your employer saying what the overtime was for and it is not expected to continue.
We divide the amount of any bonus by 12 to get a monthly average, which helps make the calculation more accurate.