Some spouses aren’t surprised when their partner does not fully disclose income or hides businesses to avoid paying child support or spousal support. If your former partner is not providing an honest picture of his or her true income, it’s imperative to seek a Minneapolis child support lawyer skilled at uncovering money. In many cases, one of the reasons for the divorce is due to dishonesty revolving around financial issues. It’s extremely difficult to skirt the responsibility of paying child support in Minnesota, but how much you receive depends on a full disclosure of income on both sides.
According to an article by wahpetondailynews.com, the child support program in Minnesota ranks nationally as part of the top 5 in collections. Lawmakers understand children need not only emotional support, but financial support from working parents. Obtaining proper child support is not for the other spouse, but for the children so they don’t live in poverty or experience financial insecurity.
Dealing with the self-employment dilemma
If your spouse receives a W-2 as a full-time employee, it’s extremely easy to verify income. But any extra income he or she earns on the side as an independent contractor, 1099 employee or small business owner is trickier to pin down. Your spouse will have to show his or her tax returns that should indicate taxable income. A good Minneapolis child support lawyer scrutinizes the Schedule C section of the tax return used for profit or loss from a business. If your spouse itemizes taxes, it’s likely he or she has a self-employment gig or small business. A rental property also has to show up on tax returns. Some new sources of income to pay careful attention to include Uber or Lyft driving and Airbnb or other short-term rental income. Also, looking at bank accounts and credit card statements can reveal some additional income.
Uncovering an extravagant lifestyle
If your spouse claims to only make $10,000 a year, but lives an extravagant lifestyle with monthly expenses that are four times as much, it raises red flags. In some cases, marital infidelity evidence appears while unearthing evidence of credit cards used for hotels, vacations and dining out. If your spouse claims to have expenses that are significantly higher than income, it may point to income the spouse is trying to hide. On the other hand, it’s possible a spouse ran up credit card debt and took out personal loans to cover those high expenses. Looking at bank statements often fills in missing pieces of the puzzle. Talk to an attorney about an in-depth discovery if you think your spouse’s business or self-employment brings in significant income that could help support your child/children. Your spouse could be using alternative ways of sending money such as PayPal.
According to wahpetondailynews.com, child support is for the basic necessities such as shelter, food, education and childcare. Ideally, a child should be able to continue the lifestyle they enjoyed prior to the marriage termination. To receive child support or court-ordered money, you have to be the parent of the child or have custody. The minor child has to live in your household and be financially dependent. Keep in mind, if your spouse owes child support and does not pay it, he or she could deal with a license suspension. The Minnesota Department of Revenue assists with a Financial Institution Data Match. Even lottery winnings can be intercepted to pay for child support. Ultimately, it’s not worth it to hide income when going through a divorce.
Contact Our Minnetonka Family Law Firm Today
At Beckman, Steen & Lungstrom, we work hard as family law attorneys focused on spousal support, custody and child support. For more information on retaining a Minneapolis child support lawyer for your unique situation, please contact us.