Calculating Your Income: Three Reasons Why it Matters
If you’re dealing with a domestic relations case in Colorado, be it parenting time, child support, divorce, or otherwise, chances are you’ve had to disclose your current monthly income, as well as other relevant financial information. The disclosure of financial information in a domestic relations case can be tedious, and painful. As a result, the tendency is to gloss over the details when it matters most. But that can lead to dire consequences down the line. Here are three reasons that you’ll want to ensure your income is calculated accurately, the first time around:
- You Can Never Take it Back – once you have submitted a Sworn Financial Statement disclosing your income, that document will exist forever. If you disclose an income that’s mistakenly higher than what you earn, that can be used against you down the line. Picture a situation where you list $7,000 per month instead of the more accurate $5,700 – your ex could argue it’s the higher figure, and you are the one that listed that figure, so it must be right. Suddenly you’re finding yourself spending a considerable amount of time trying to convince a Judge what your true income is, when you should be focusing on real issues. If you earn a varying amount each month, and you happen to have a good month, disclosing that month’s income will open the door for the argument that you can always earn that much, every month, even if your averages aren’t shaking out that way. Whatever the issue, when you file a document stating your income, it better be accurate, or you can count on it coming back to haunt you time and time again.
- If You Make a Mistake, You’ll be Labeled as Untruthful – if you, heaven forbid, make a mistake calculating your income, you can bet on a lawyer making an issue of your credibility. You may have made an innocent mistake, but a lawyer isn’t going to spin in that way. Even if you update or correct your Sworn Financial Statement later on in your case, if you have disclosed something inaccurate, you can bet that a lawyer will seize on every opportunity they can to make that an issue. If a lawyer cross examines you and makes you look untruthful on the stand, it will affect every aspect of your case.
- Your Income Can Drive Everything – your income determines how much you pay in child support, how much you could owe your spouse in maintenance, how much you pay in extracurricular expenses, uninsured medical expenses, day care expenses, and, often times, how much you receive in a property division. Don’t let an inaccurate calculation affect almost every issue in your case.
Take the time to gather your financial documents and accurately calculate your income, it will serve you well in the long run. Contact me for a free consultation to discuss your income calculation.