Imagine working hard for months, pushing toward your objectives inch by inch. When you finally achieve your goals, you earn a nice bonus. As soon as you see the money in your bank account, you feel uneasy. You wonder whether bonuses factor into child support and, if so, whether you need to report this to the Office of Child Support (CSEA).
According to the Ohio Department of Job and Family Services, bonuses exceeding $150 must be reported to the CSEA. If you have outstanding child support payments, that money must go toward the child support fund.
That means outstanding child support payments could, potentially, swallow your bonus. This, in turn, gives you less incentive to work for bonuses or overtime.
There is a small catch when reporting income and bonuses on child support. When you report bonuses and overtime, you don’t report it for the current year, but the previous year. That means, if you start a new job that includes bonuses, you won’t report that right away (unless you have outstanding payments). Instead, that money is reported at the beginning of the next year, and payments are adjusted accordingly.
This means that you have an opportunity to use your bonuses, in full, for the first year you receive them. Keeping that additional money can feel like an enormous weight off your shoulders if your child support payments are higher than the average for your income.
However, you should always verify your reported income with an experienced divorce attorney before you decide to keep the money to yourself. Consulting with a lawyer will ensure you’re doing everything by the books and will help you avoid overpaying.
If you’re going through a difficult divorce, you may need legal representation. If you’d like an experienced Dayton divorce attorney from L. Patrick Mulligan & Associates, LLC to evaluate your case, please send us an email or call (937) 685-7006.