Gross Income Is Crucial to Determine the Child Support Amount
Video Transcribed: How is gross income determined for child support in Oklahoma? I’m Oklahoma attorney James Wirth. We’re doing a series of videos regarding issues in Oklahoma child support. And the question that we’ve got for this video is how do you determine gross income?
Now, obviously, gross income is very important. Getting the gross income for both of the parents is the most substantial factor to determine what the child support obligation is going to be, but how do you do that? And it’s actually, we’ve got a statutory rule on that for a couple of different ways or a few different ways to determine gross income.
And it’s in title 43, section 118B, subsection C, which says determining gross income. And it essentially says, you look at the current monthly income and it describes in previous sections, and I covered in previous videos, what counts as income and doesn’t count as income.
But you look at all the current monthly income, including overtime and any supplemental income that the court determines is appropriate. That’s one way. You look at that and that’s your monthly income.
The other one is that you average your gross monthly income for the last year, so you take the year, divide that by 12, and you come up with an average. And then the third way is that you look at imputing income.
So what the statute provides is that if looking at the current month isn’t the full picture or equitable and looking at an average of the income over the last year is not the full picture or equitable, then it may be appropriate to impute income based on the person’s circumstances. And that is where you look at what to expect going forward based on certain changes.
So why is the current monthly income not appropriate? Maybe the person was sick and didn’t work for a lot of time this month, so we don’t expect that’s going to be an issue in the future. Maybe if you look at the last year, maybe they were unemployed for the first half of the year, but they’re employed for the second half of the year, so that’s not a good way to look at it.
Well, then you look at imputed income, which has a lot more flexibility to determine what is fair and appropriate for determining gross income. And the statute actually lists certain factors to look at, but we’re going to cover that in another video.
So how do you determine gross income? It’s going to be based on your current monthly income based on an average of your income over the last year or based on imputed income. If you’ve got questions about that, you’re going to want to talk to an attorney about that privately, confidentially. To get that scheduled with somebody at my office, you can go online to makelaweasy.com.