§ 4-204. Total monthly income.

§ 4-204. Total monthly income.

   (A) Total monthly income is the income of both parties derived from all sources, except all means-tested public assistance benefits which includes any earned income tax credit and payments received for children of prior marriages. This would include income that could be acquired by the parties through reasonable efforts. For instance, a court may consider as income the retained earnings in a closely-held corporation of which a party is a shareholder if the earnings appear excessive or inappropriate. All income should be annualized and divided by 12. For example, a party who receives a salary of $400 gross per week would have an annualized gross income of $20,800 ($400 times 52) and a monthly income of $1,733.33 ($20,800 divided by 12). If the person is paid $400 every 2 weeks, his or her annualized gross income would be $10,400 ($400 times 26) and monthly income would be $866.67 (10,400 divided by 12).

   (B) The court may consider overtime wages in determining child support if the overtime is a regular part of the employment and the employee can actually expect to regularly earn a certain amount of income from working overtime. In determining whether working overtime is a regular part of employment, the court may consider such factors as the work history of the employee for the employer, the degree of control the employee has over work conditions, and the nature of the employer's business or industry.

   (C) Depreciation calculated on the cost of ordinary and necessary assets may be allowed as a deduction from income of the business or farm to arrive at an annualized total monthly income. After an asset is shown to be ordinary and necessary, depreciation, if allowed by the trial court, shall be calculated by using the "straight-line" method, which allocates cost of an asset equally over its useful duration or life. An asset's life should be determined with reference to the Class-lives and Recovery Periods Table created pursuant to 26 CFR § 1.167(a)-11. A party claiming depreciation shall have the burden of establishing entitlement to its allowance as a deduction.

   (D) Copies of at least 2 years' tax returns, financial statements, and current wage stubs should be furnished to the court and the other party to the action at least 3 days before any hearing requesting relief. Any party claiming an allowance of depreciation as a deduction from income shall furnish to the court and the other party copies of a minimum of 5 years' tax returns at least 14 days before any hearing pertaining to the allowance of the deduction.

   (E) If applicable, earning capacity may be considered in lieu of a parent's actual, present income. Earning capacity is not limited to wage-earning capacity, but includes moneys available from all sources. When imputing income to a parent, the court shall take into consideration the specific circumstances of the parents, to the extent known. Those factors may include the parent's residence, employment and earnings history, job skills, educational attainment, literacy, age, health, and employment barriers, including criminal record, record of seeking work, prevailing local earning levels, and availability of employment.

   (F) Incarceration may not be treated as voluntary unemployment or underemployment in establishing or modifying child support orders.

Paragraph D amended Dec. 23, 1992; amended effective Jan. 1, 1996; amended effective Sept. 1, 2002. Renumbered and codified as § 4-204, effective July 18, 2008. § 4-204 amended September 16, 2015, effective January 1, 2016; § 4-204 amended September 25, 2019, effective January 1, 2020.