As a general rule, regular and recurring interest payments must be factored into a party’s income when determining their child support obligation. When dividing the marital estate in the context of a divorce, the settlement may include payments from one spouse to another to “equalize” post marital estates – the net value of assets and liabilities each party takes away from the marriage. Often, where one spouse must pay another a significant amount of money to equalize property, the parties will exchange a written promissory note to secure future payment that may carry interest. However, in terms of child support payments, should the interest paid by one spouse to the other be counted as income to the spouse receiving interest, and thereby reduce the payee spouse’s payment of child support? According to at least one Florida appellate court, interest paid by one spouse to the other, pursuant to a family law order, equitably distributing property should be excluded from the recipient spouse’s income in calculating child support. In other words, the amount of interest income one spouse receives from the other pursuant to a marital property distribution scheme should not be factored into the recipient’s income for the purpose of calculating child support.
Contact the attorneys at Givens Givens Sparks to discuss child support in your divorce or paternity case.