In the Matter of Maves and Moore, the trial court calculated child support using the father’s Adjusted Gross Income figure from his federal income tax return. On appeal, the New Hampshire Supreme Court overturned the trial court’s use of the Adjusted Gross Income figure, finding “how federal income taxation statutes define income is of little relevance to the interpretation of gross income under the Child Support Guidelines”. In support of its finding, the New Hampshire Supreme Court noted that use of the Adjusted Gross Income is inappropriate as it includes deductions for such things as depreciation, discretionary retirement contributions for the father and his current wife, and non-business related rental property losses that were not necessary for producing income. Accordingly, the Maves decision demonstrates that proper knowledge of how to read a federal income tax return is important in a child support calculation.
If you have any questions regarding the calculation of child support, whether in Massachusetts or New Hampshire, please contact an attorney at Hamblett & Kerrigan to discuss. Let Hamblett & Kerrigan use their experience to your advantage.
Kevin P. Rauseo is a former director at Hamblett & Kerrigan P.A. and has since been appointed as a Justice for the New Hampshire Circuit Court. Please feel free to contact another attorney at Hamblett & Kerrigan to discuss your legal issues.