Alimony is generally based upon the need for alimony, andthe ability to pay alimony. Affairs can be problematic making a party eligible or ineligible depending on the facts of the case. Assuming affairs are not in "play", it is often more a dollars and cents decision on the part of the court.
Many things can be included in income including wages, overtime, investment income, rental income. Also included are self - employment and imputed income. Non-W2 income is often the source angst and anger in divorces because there are multiple ways of calculating non-W2 income. If you or yourspouse receives income from a source other than an employer that pays via a W-2 form, you should speak to your attorney immediately. Understanding the rules regarding the calculation of income is critical not only in the calculation of alimony, but in the calculation of child support as well.
And for you W-2 employees, you should immediately speak to your attorney if you set aside pre-tax income, contribute to a pre-tax 401K or contribute to some other pre-tax savings or investment plan. Stocks and the options associated with them can also pose issues if income flows to you such income vehicles. The rules of how these items affect income can be counterintuitive to the novice in some cases and it is important to understand the rules at the outset of your matter, rather than midway into litigation or beyond.
Income is one of the most disputed issues in divorce actions. Make sure you seek legal advice so that you are an informed litigant.
Karen has an MBA from Boston College and received her law degree from Emory. She has an office in Alpharetta and has practiced family law since 1994. She is a Guardian Ad Litem and active Foster Care Advocate with area courts and is also on the Family Law Executive Committee for the State Bar of Georgia. She frequently speaks state wide on family law issues and can be contacted at 770-952-5000.