Nancy L. Sponseller

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Questions of income and child support

On behalf of Law Office of Nancy L. Sponseller posted on Tuesday, June 17, 2014.

An Ohio man’s child support agreement recalculation has spawned a debate about what constitutes income. The man was originally ordered to pay just under $2200 per month in child support. He later petitioned for a reduction in child support due to a change in circumstances. However, the court found that the amount he would be ordered to pay under the new calculation was less than 10 percent different from the original amount. Therefore, the monthly payment was not adjusted, pursuant to Ohio law.

However, the recalculation was disputed because of what the court calculated as income. The man drove a company car and was given Ohio State University football tickets free of charge as part of his employment. The court dedermined that ownership of a car would otherwise require the procuring of funds to purchase and maintain the vehicle, so the man had an effectively higher income than someone without the particular job perk.

The OSU tickets were included by the lower court under the same principle, but the appeals court noted that these tickets, unlike the car, were not intended for the man’s personal use. Rather, they were supposed to be given to associates and other people as part of the networking experience. It was found, though, that the value of the tickets amounted to about one percent of the calculated income and were therefore not a significant part of the calculation.

The uncertainty over this matter points to what may become an ongoing debate as to what company perks constitute income. For those who have income evaluated for child support, it may be worthwhile to consult with an attorney who has experience in family law. Having legal counsel may reduce the risk of having income calculated as artificially high.

Source: Circleville Herald, “VIEWPOINT: Child support and OSU football tickets“, Paul E. Pfeifer, June 11, 2014