Parker, CO asked in Family Law, Child Custody and Child Support for Colorado

Q: Will my ex have to count his income “assistance” on our financial worksheet?

My ex doesn’t work or go to school. His mom pays all his living expenses bc they are extremely wealthy.

I just got a job offer in Nebraska and want to go to court and ask for my son for the school year and he can have him for breaks and weekends and such (it’s only 5.5 hrs away).

If we go to court I am assuming we have to redo our financial worksheet (which is a joke to begin with).

So the question is - Does his income “assistance” count on that worksheet?

If they don’t use it, he will be showing zero, so I’m worried I’ll end up having to pay him which is annoying because he doesn’t need my money.

3 Lawyer Answers

Brynne Gant

Answered
  • Greeley, CO
  • Licensed in Colorado

A: When filling out a sworn financial statement, he should claim income from any source, including from his mother. That said, it can be difficult to enforce this if she is paying him in cash. You may need to get approval from the court to request her bank statements/financial documents as well as his if this is a major concern. In addition, there is little stopping them from stating/deciding that her assistance to him is actually a debt, which could complicate things.

As for the child support worksheet, once again, he should include income from any source (unless specifically exempted by statute), but you'll have the same concerns with proof. However it is that you came to know he is receiving funds from his mother, it might be good to document that (even if just by writing down the date you learned this and how).

For more specifics on what qualifies as income and how to verify the same, consider reaching out to a Family Law attorney.

Best of luck with your potential move and modifications.

John Hyland Barrett III

Answered
  • Divorce Lawyer
  • BOULDER, CO
  • Licensed in Colorado

A: Hopefully, you realize that you will need court permission, or agreement of the father, to move your child to Nebraska. If granted, that may lead to a change in child support due to a change in the parenting time. The financial assistance he receives from his family should be counted as income if it is regular and substantial. You should hire a lawyer to help you with these important matters.

Courtney Edwards

Answered
  • Divorce Lawyer
  • Edwards, CO
  • Licensed in Colorado

A: I agree with the other two answers but have this to supplement:

1. You are supposed to claim monetary "gifts" as income on the sworn financial and child support worksheet. You could argue that the money from his mother is a gift. But, as mentioned by the other attorneys, there is a proof problem here if you cannot prove how much money she is gifting him.

2. If he is not employed or under employed, you can impute income to him. This means that you look at his education level, past employment, and potential employment to determine what he should or could be capable of earning. The court will then use that figure as his income when making the relevant calculations.

At the very least, it would be a good idea to consult with an attorney before you file anything. Best of luck.

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