The requesting spouse must disclose all information about income and expenses.
For child support, the judge will use a definition very similar to what is used by the IRS: Income is all income from whatever source derived. This includes income from salary, commissions, bonuses, public assistance, spousal support (but not child support), partner support, pension or retirement fund payments, social security retirement (but not SSI), disability payments, unemployment compensation, workers compensation payments, and any other source of income. In addition, income incudes dividend and interest income from investments, rental property income, and trust income. Income also includes income from a business interest such as a sole proprietorship, a partnership, or another business interest.
Certain things are deducted from and are not included in income. For example, deductions include required union dues, required retirement payments (such as required pension payments, but not IRAs, FICA or 401(k) deductions) medical or health insurance premiums, child support payments for children of other relationships, spousal support payments from a different relationship, partner support payments from a different relationship, and necessary job-related expenses not reimbursed by the employer.
Expenses generally include all expenses or cash outflows that you pay each month. Monthly expenses should cover all members of the household actually supported by you or contributing to your expense. The expenses should not include any expenses for the other spouse or partner.
You want to be as accurate as possible with the expenses. For example, if you change the oil in your car every 3 months (once a quarter), multiply the cost of an oil change by 4, and then divide by 12, to come up with an average monthly amount. If a certain expense occurs only once every several years, it is still important to average it in as a monthly expense. For example, if you paint your house every five years at a cost of approximately $1,000.00, that would average out to $200.00 per year or approximately $17.00 per month. You would list this expense under “maintenance” on the Income and Expense Declaration (Judicial Council Form FL-150).
While this seems like a lot of information (and it is!), remember that the Income and Expense Declaration is required in every divorce and if you ask for child or spousal support. Your case will be helped if you submit a complete, accurate, and thorough Income and Expense Declaration to the judge.
Rest assured that the other parent will have to do the same thing: The other parent is required to file and serve an Income and Expense Declaration just as you are. The other parent’s income must be disclosed so the judge can determine income available for support. If the other parent has a job and a regular paycheck, the other parent’s pay stubs are the best proof of that parent’s income. The other parent’s pay stubs must be attached to that party’s Income and Expense Declaration. If the other parent is self-employed, the company’s profit and loss statements, tax returns, and bank statements can all be used to prove the other party’s income.