How to Calculate Child Support with Variable Income

A common problem in divorce and child custody cases is calculating child support when incomes are variable and fluctuate. Some examples are: Father has a seasonal business (such as construction or landscaping) and makes most of his money June through August. The divorce trial is in February. He claims little to no income. Father has a good-paying job, but he quits during the middle of a custody battle because he doesn't want to pay support. Mother or father is in sales and most of the salary is commission based. There are good months and bad months, and even good years and bad years. Mother has a small business with explosive growth potential, but very little revenue at the time of a divorce. Mother is in a transitional job that has potential for better pay in the future, but currently provides little income. How do you properly calculate child support when the income of the parents is going up or down? Determining Child Support with Fluctuating Income As you may know, Oregon's Child Support Calculator is fairly easy to use with known income levels. You may not like the result after using it, but it's at least pretty straightforward. When we don't know what a parent's current income is-- or what it might be in the future-- we have to turn to the Oregon Court of Appeals for guidance. Their opinions are not only helpful but controlling upon the trial courts an Oregon Division of Child Support. The Oregon Court of Appeals has had several cases which discuss how to properly calculate child support awards when one or both parents have variable or fluctuating income. In the 2011 case of In re Marriage of Leif, [...]