If I Get a Second Job or Have Additional Income, Will Child Support Be Changed to Include It?
In Massachusetts, the court determines whether to consider income from a second job after examining the history of the income (for how long it has been received, whether it is routine or sporadic, etc.) and expectation of future income from that course. If the second job was obtained after the court issued the child support order, generally, the court will not later consider it when calculating child support. The guidelines regarding this topic read as follows:
“B. Overtime and secondary jobs
1. The Court may consider none, some, or all overtime income or income from a secondary job. In determining whether to disregard none, some or all income from overtime or a secondary job, due consideration must first be given to the history of the income, the expectation that the income will continue to be available, the economic needs of the parties and the children, the impact of the overtime or secondary job on the parenting plan, and whether the overtime work is a requirement of the job.
2. If after a child support order is entered, a payor or recipient begins to work overtime or obtains a secondary job, neither of which was worked prior to the entry of the order, there shall be a presumption that the overtime or secondary job income should not be considered in a future child support order.”
In New Hampshire, the court may consider a secondary job or overtime income. This is very factually dependent. The question is truly whether the income is “regular and usual” or whether it is one-time or seasonal. If, for example, you work in a retail store and earn extra wages during the Christmas season, the court is unlikely to include that income. If, however, you work overtime weekly, and have for an extended period of time, the court is likely to include that income. On the other hand, one-time income (ie lottery winnings) may be considered by the court as income spread over a period of time to determine child support (particularly where the party then no longer earns former income). Beware, however, that this is not absolute and each decision is made upon the facts in the case.
From the NH child support guidelines (applicable sections highlighted in red):
“Gross income” means all income from any source, whether earned or unearned, including, but not limited to, wages, salary, commissions, tips, annuities, social security benefits, trust income, lottery or gambling winnings, interest, dividends, investment income, net rental income, self-employment income, alimony, business profits, pensions, bonuses, and payments from other government programs (except public assistance programs, including aid to families with dependent children, aid to the permanently and totally disabled, supplemental security income, food stamps, and general assistance received from a county or town), including, but not limited to, workers’ compensation, veterans’ benefits, unemployment benefits, and disability benefits; provided, however, that no income earned at an hourly rate for hours worked, on an occasional or seasonal basis, in excess of 40 hours in any week shall be considered as income for the purpose of determining gross income; and provided further that such hourly rate income is earned for actual overtime labor performed by an employee who earns wages at an hourly rate in a trade or industry which traditionally or commonly pays overtime wages, thus excluding professionals, business owners, business partners, self-employed individuals and others who may exercise sufficient control over their income so as to recharacterize payment to themselves to include overtime wages in addition to a salary. In addition, the following shall apply: (a) The court, in its discretion, may consider as gross income the difference between the amount a parent is earning and the amount a parent has earned in cases where the parent voluntarily becomes unemployed or underemployed, unless the parent is physically or mentally incapacitated. (b) The income of either parent’s current spouse shall not be considered as gross income to the parent unless the parent resigns from or refuses employment or is voluntarily unemployed or underemployed, in which case the income of the spouse shall be imputed to the parent to the extent that the parent had earned income in his or her usual employment. (c) The court, in its discretion, may order that child support based on one-time or irregular income be paid when the income is received, rather than be included in the weekly, bi-weekly, or monthly child support calculation. Such support shall be based on the applicable percentage of net income