Can Working Over-time Work Against Your Child Support Case?
How is “Over-time” Treated in Child Support Calculations?
When determining child support, Minnesota law states there is a presumption that every parent can work 40 hours a week (unless there is a disability, or a few other exceptions). If a parent chooses to work more than 40 hours a week, how is that additional pay handled in the child support calculations?
Generally speaking, pay received for work beyond a 40 hour week is not considered for child support calculations as long as child support is ordered in an amount at least equal to the guideline amount based on gross income and as long as:
- the overtime began after the petition for child support was filed;
- the overtime reflects an increase in the work schedule or hours worked over that of the two years immediately preceding the filing of the petition;
- the excess employment is voluntary and a not a condition of employment;
- the excess employment is additional, part-time, or overtime employment compensable by the hour or fraction of an hour; and
- the party’s compensation structure has not been changed for the purpose of affecting a support or maintenance obligation.
It is not uncommon for parties to feel a financial pinch following a divorce and taking on a second job, or working overtime, may be the only way for a parent to make ends meet. There are circumstances though where overtime may be considered in a party’s gross income for child support. Usually in cases where a party is expected to overtime or in cases where a party has always worked overtime and that was part of the family’s financial support when the parents were married.
Determining child support can involve a complicated legal analysis and even small details can make a difference from one case to the next. The best way to determine the of child support due in any case is to consult with an experienced family attorney. Christine Callahan has represented obligors and obliges alike and she can help you analyze the possible outcomes for child support in your case.