How do I fill out the child support worksheets?
There are several variables taken into account on the worksheets, one of them being gross income. The definition of gross income in the Guidelines is quite broad and certain calculations must be made if self-employment or the operation of a business is involved. Two special points should be noted in regard to statements about actual income.
First, the Guidelines attempt to fix the appropriate amount of support for a minor child by occasionally allowing the inclusion of imputed income for those parents who are either voluntarily unemployed or underemployed, where imputation is called for. Exceptions to this rule about imputation of income exist for those parents who are caring for a child under three years old and who owe the child a legal duty of care, as well as for those who are physically or mentally incapacitated.
Second, income must be verified; and sanctions are available to the other party should one party fail to provide the appropriate documentation. The proper child support award is determined by evaluating the parties’ income at the time the award is actually made. However, again it is important to recall that potential income can be a factor as well.