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Kansas High Income Divorce

The team at Fairbanks Law has years of experience litigating and successfully navigating high income divorce and modification issues in the district courts of Kansas.  The team at Fairbanks Law has experience representing clients with complex business holdings, high income paychecks, deferred compensation, compensation in the form of stock options, RSUs, and golden parachute cases.  The attorneys at Fairbanks Law have experience in expert forensic accounting and valuation services and can provide you with the insight necessary to determine your high-income child support or spousal maintenance order.  

The Kansas child support guidelines control the calculation of child support, and use of the guidelines is mandatory.  For high income cases, the primary difference on the worksheet will be the use of the extended income formula as a discretionary matter.  For parties who earn $15,500 or more in combined monthly wages, the use of the extended income formula is authorized, but not mandatory.  Parties are left to determine amongst themselves whether the use of the extended income formula is necessary and/or in the children’s best interests.  Ultimately, if they cannot agree, the district court judge will make that determination.  

The higher the parties’ incomes, the more likely the use of the extended income formula is ordered by the court.  In many cases, all of the income is coming primarily from one side of the “v” – In that scenario it can be argued that the use of the extended income formula only works to burden the payer with the higher child support amount and benefit payee, who contributes very little to the combined income total which makes the use of the extended income formula possible.  In other cases, use of the extended income formula could produce a windfall or work to supply additional maintenance to the spouse.

In other cases, however, the use of the extended income formula will be in the children’s best interests to ensure that payee receives support in line with what most appropriately sustains the children’s quality of life. In high income cases there are typically issues with executive or ownership perks, benefits, deferred or alternative compensation, all of which are includable as income for child support purposes in Kansas. 

For example, stock options or restricted stock units can be considered income, and the exchangeable net can be attributed to the owner’s gross domestic income on top of what that party earns in W-2 or 1099 wages for the year.  Business owners further have to account in many ways for any income that is retained in the business which is essentially not already spoken for.  Regardless of what a business owner pays himself, if there is additional income after reasonable business expenses and monies earmarked for business purposes, those amounts can be considered income and used in the determination of child support in Kansas.  

With respect to high income spousal maintenance cases, the greater the income difference, the greater potential for a spousal maintenance award from the district court.  Although the Kansas child support guidelines govern the calculation of child support, they do not specifically govern the determination of spousal maintenance awards or their calculation.  In some cases, income deemed to be child support income, may not be income the district court would use in determining a party’s income for spousal maintenance purposes.  This is why it is essential to have an experienced high income spousal maintenance attorney assist you in your case. Call the team at Fairbanks Law today to discuss your high-income child support or spousal maintenance case.

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Overland Park, KS 66210

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