Law Office of Bradley R. Tengler, P.C.

Review: Figuring income when a parent is self-employed

Many parents in Rockford earn their living through self-employment. Whether they draw income through an established business as a shareholder or partner or whether they have set up shop for themselves, these parents are blessed enough to act as their own bosses and still have the ability to provide for themselves and their families.

Naturally, then, should these people live in homes separate from their children, it is only right that they contribute some of their income to their support. The Illinois Child Support Guidelines have special rules in place that explain to this state's judges how they should calculate a parent's income when he is self-employed.

The starting point for figuring out how much income a parent earned from self-employment is usually her tax return, since that should have an accurate account of her business revenue and expenses. After all, the goal is for the court to determine the parent's revenue and subtract out appropriate business expenses.

Figuring out the right amount of child she should pay can be difficult when a Rockford parent makes a living through some form of self-employment. But, the court must independently review the parent's business expenses, even if they were validly taken on the parent's tax return.

For instance, when it comes to determining child support, the court will not consider certain types of depreciation deductions or other expenses the court deems unnecessary for running the parent's business. Moreover, if he enjoys certain perks, like the benefit of a company car, the court may consider that as an in-kind benefit and include it as part of the parent's income for child support purposes.

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