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Ely, Counselor at Law
Category: Family Law
Satisfied Customers: 99441
Experience:  Private practice with focus on family, criminal, PI, consumer protection, and business consultation.
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I am self employed interior designer living in and I have

Customer Question

I am self employed interior designer living in Virginia and I have primary custody of my three children. My estranged husband also lives in Virginia and has a steady income with bonus opportunities each year. We have never legally established child support amounts. My story is long and perhaps not necessary... so, my short question is: Isn't it normal course to average a self-employed income rather than to use one year for child support calculation? We have been legally separated for 12 years and have lived separate and apart the entire time. We attempted mediation during the first year however my husband was kicked out during the process of negotiating the sale of our home in 2005 and before we could establish child support. He has never agreed to and/or had a legal obligation to pay child support but has paid what he felt was fair all these years. I have sought legal advice numerous times in an effort to get divorced from him but it has proven to be an expensive proposition to navigate with my difficult ex. I would like to finalize my divorce now in a peaceful and expeditious way. Is it fair to ask him to average my last three years of income in order to have a better snap shot of how much I earn?
Submitted: 4 months ago.
Category: Family Law
Expert:  Ely replied 4 months ago.

Hello and welcome to JustAnswer. Please note: This is general information for educational purposes only and is not legal advice. No specific course of action is proposed herein, and no attorney-client relationship or privilege is formed by speaking to an expert on this site. By continuing, you confirm that you understand and agree to these terms.

For self-employed incomes, the Court has discretion. The Judge may either use a mean (average), or a median (middle number) or mode (whatever occurs most often) depending on your income, the regularity with which you get paid, etc.

It is absolutely fair to ask that they average three years of income. However, the ex does not have to agree. If they do not agree, the Judge makes a decision based on what they believe is the fairest representation of your income over the year(s).

So there IS some subjectivity there.

I hope this helps and clarifies. Please use the SEND or REPLY button to keep chatting, or please RATE when finished. You may always ask follow ups at no charge after rating. Kindly rate my answer as one of TOP THREE FACES/STARS and then SUBMIT, as this is how experts get credit for our time. Rating my answer the bottom two faces/stars (or failing to submit the rating) does not give me credit and reflects poorly on me, even if my answer is correct. I work very hard to formulate an informative and honest answer for you; please reciprocate my good faith with a positive rating.

Expert:  Ely replied 4 months ago.
Hello again. This is a courtesy check in to see if you needed anything else in regards ***** ***** question because you never responded or replied positively. I am simply touching base. Let me know. Thanks!

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