(Raleigh Family Law News) – The father’s argument was simple: In determining his child support obligation, the trial court erred by imputing income to him based on bank account statements from prior years.
But the North Carolina Court of Appeals-in its ruling in the case Moore v. Onafowora on December 21-found otherwise. The appellate judges said the incompleteness of the father’s financial records made it necessary to look back at the older statements in trying to determine his income.
As reported in the March 2011 issue of Family Forum, a publication of the Family Law Section of the North Carolina Bar Association, the appellate court found that the trial judge who issued the child support order back in August 2009 had properly determined the father’s income based on all available sources.
Since the father’s financial records from 2008 and 2009 were incomplete, the appellate panel wrote, the trial court had not abused its discretion “in using [the father’s] average monthly income reflected in the most complete records from 2007 to determine his 2009 income for purposes of setting his child support obligation.”
For North Carolina residents, the implication is clear, say divorce and family attorneys: Failure to keep or turn over current financial data may result in older-and potentially outdated-information to be used as a court attempts to determine income for purposes of child support obligations.
Custody, separation, child support and property distribution issues are often complex and stressful. Keeping comprehensive, up-to-date records on income and assets can make arriving at the ultimate resolution swifter, fairer and more accurate.
This news story was brought to you by the Raleigh, N.C., family law attorneys at Gailor Wallis & Hunt, one of North Carolina’s-and the nation’s-most accomplished divorce and family law firms. Our dedication and our experience in all aspects of divorce, child custody, child support, alimony, prenuptial agreements and property distribution have helped us aid many North Carolina families through emotionally and often financially stressful times.
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