While many people earn regular wages based upon a salary, there are also many people who earn wages from a small business, based on hours worked, and in other ways which can make it very difficult to ascertain a person’s income. One of the biggest misconceptions in family law court in Illinois is that a person’s Federal or State Income Tax Return shows their true income. The income shown on these forms is computed pursuant to IRS guidelines and not pursuant to the guidelines set forth in the Illinois Marriage and Dissolution of Marriage Act. As a result, a lot of deductions that the IRS allows a person to take to calculate their gross income are not allowed for the purpose of calculating support in Illinois family court.
One way that a Court may ascertain a person’s income in these situations is to do an average. The average may be based on half a year, or an entire year. An average can also be based upon multiple years when there is a great income inconsistency. Sometimes the Courts will have to look at bank records deposits and deductions to legitimize which expenses can be deducted for calculating child support, which is a time consuming and difficult way to calculate support. If a person is deemed to be hiding income, or, for many other reasons, a Court could award child support based upon the needs of a child or children, and not based upon the payor’s income at all.
The way in which income is calculated for support purposes varies a great deal and can be circumstantial depending upon the type of employment, the way the person is paid, etc. Not every Judge will calculate income the same way in these difficult situations, but these are some of the possibilities of what could happen in some of these cases.