What if my ex and I can’t agree on my income?
Calculating income for an entrepreneur can be difficult. Unlike traditional employees with consistent paychecks that indicate a clear salary, an entrepreneur’s income is very hard to calculate. The non-entrepreneur spouse will always argue that the entrepreneur spouse’s income is higher, so that support payments may be higher. The entrepreneur will obviously argue that his income is lower, so that the support obligation will be lower. So if it comes down to a he-said/she-said argument, what gives?
If you find yourself in this situation, consider hiring a forensic accountant to investigate your business venture’s financials and come up with a figure. This figure should exclude phantom income, and should predict your future income as well. If your spouse doesn’t accept your expert’s analysis of what your income is, then he or she may hire an expert to do the same on their behalf.
If the two experts come up with largely different figures, chances are you will find yourself litigating the income issue in court. In that case, the judge will hear the testimony of both experts, and will have to decide on a figure to use for your income. If it comes down to a “battle of the experts” you will have to rely on your expert to use credible methods of calculating income, and be able to easily explain the calculation to the judge.