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Is Bonus Income Included in the Calculation of Child Support?

Bonus income can be paid on a regular and routine basis, or it could be paid for an isolated event.

The law is clear however, that in order to include bonus income in a child support calculation, there must be evidence that the bonus is regular and continuous before it can be included in a party’s income for purposes of calculating child support.

In Rudnick v. Rudnick, 162 So 3rd 116 (Florida 4th DCA 2015), the husband experienced a substantial spike and his income for the year of his divorce.  He testified that he was a political consultant, who experienced an unusually high level of income in the year 2012 due to the presidential election that year.

The husband further testified that the spike in his income would not continue in future years, which was substantiated by looking at his annual earnings during the years prior to the election.

An unusual spike in income, not likely to continue into the future, is simply not sufficient to support a child support obligation. Rather, the court should look at the historical earnings previous to any unusual spike in income for a more realistic approach to calculating child support.

There are many nuances that go into the calculation of child support.  If you are unsure of your rights or what your obligations may be, call Attorney Alan R. Burton, with offices in Boca Raton and Fort Lauderdale, Florida at 954-295-9222.