Husband was ordered to pay increased child support. The increase was based on a bonus that he had received in one year for his performance the year before. Also, it included two relocation reimbursements he received. The court included those amounts in his child support that he owed.
Husband appealed. The Court had to consider what the definition of income is. Husband was to pay a percentage of his income after taxes.
1) Is the bonus received this year for work performed the previous year income for this year?
2) Is the relocation reimbursement received in the past, that was repaid, considered income?
3) Is the relocation reimbursement received after the child turns 18 income? Consider that it was for an expense incurred before the child turned 18.
The law defines after-tax income as the total of all income from all sources, minus certain deductions. For purposes of child support, when future income is speculative (not for sure), it is income not when earned but when received.
The Appellate Court stated that the trial court made a mistake by including husband’s MICP bonus. It had been earned for performance in one year. The bonus was speculative until received the next year. Speculative income, such as income at the discretion of an employer, is income for purposes of child support not when it is earned but instead when it is received, if received at all. So, it could not be included.
However, the trial court did not make a mistake by including the two disputed reimbursement payments as income. Both had accrued within the period of time that Husband’s child support could be increased (under the Wife’s petition). Although one reimbursement was received after the support period ended, the reimbursement was not speculative.
In re Marriage of Shores, 2014 IL App (2d) 130151.
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