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401(k) contributions are income for child support calculation

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The Indiana Court of Appeals Thursday affirmed that the money a father contributed to his 401(k) account during his marriage may be included as income for purposes as determining child support.

Alexander Nikolayev, who earned more than $100,000 a year at his job with Eli Lilly & Co., appealed Marion Superior Judge Cynthia Ayres decision to include his voluntary 401(k) contributions to calculate his child support obligation for his one minor son. Alexander Nikolayev and his wife Natalia divorced, with his wife claiming that Alexander Nikolayev held tight control over the family’s finances and did not increase their spending on items even as his salary increased during their marriage. Instead, he used the extra money to contribute more than $1,700 a month to his 401(k) account.

“It is true, as Alexander argues, that the guidelines and Indiana Code 31-16-6-1(a) consider the standard of living the child would have enjoyed if the marriage had not been dissolved,” Judge Rudy Pyle III wrote in Alexander Nikolayev v. Natalia Nikolayev, 49A05-1207-DR-372. “However, that standard is measured by the parent’s weekly gross income for purposes of determining child support, and it is not the parent’s prerogative to decrease the amount of weekly gross income for determining child support by his decision to invest part of the income.

“In short, the trial court did not err in ordering that the entire amount of Alexander’s salary and regular bonuses be treated as weekly gross income for purposes of determining his child support obligation.”

The judges also upheld the value the trial court placed on the household goods and personal property Natalia Nikolayev purchased after moving out but before her divorce was final. Alexander Nikolayev’s failure to comply with Appellate Rule 31 on this issue results in a waiver of a challenge to the findings on appeal.

 

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  1. So that none are misinformed by my posting wihtout a non de plume here, please allow me to state that I am NOT an Indiana licensed attorney, although I am an Indiana resident approved to practice law and represent clients in Indiana's fed court of Nth Dist and before the 7th circuit. I remain licensed in KS, since 1996, no discipline. This must be clarified since the IN court records will reveal that I did sit for and pass the Indiana bar last February. Yet be not confused by the fact that I was so allowed to be tested .... I am not, to be clear in the service of my duty to be absolutely candid about this, I AM NOT a member of the Indiana bar, and might never be so licensed given my unrepented from errors of thought documented in this opinion, at fn2, which likely supports Mr Smith's initial post in this thread: http://caselaw.findlaw.com/us-7th-circuit/1592921.html

  2. When I served the State of Kansas as Deputy AG over Consumer Protection & Antitrust for four years, supervising 20 special agents and assistant attorneys general (back before the IBLE denied me the right to practice law in Indiana for not having the right stuff and pretty much crushed my legal career) we had a saying around the office: Resist the lure of the ring!!! It was a take off on Tolkiem, the idea that absolute power (I signed investigative subpoenas as a judge would in many other contexts, no need to show probable cause)could corrupt absolutely. We feared that we would overreach constitutional limits if not reminded, over and over, to be mindful to not do so. Our approach in so challenging one another was Madisonian, as the following quotes from the Father of our Constitution reveal: The essence of Government is power; and power, lodged as it must be in human hands, will ever be liable to abuse. We are right to take alarm at the first experiment upon our liberties. I believe there are more instances of the abridgement of freedom of the people by gradual and silent encroachments by those in power than by violent and sudden usurpations. Liberty may be endangered by the abuse of liberty, but also by the abuse of power. All men having power ought to be mistrusted. -- James Madison, Federalist Papers and other sources: http://www.constitution.org/jm/jm_quotes.htm RESIST THE LURE OF THE RING ALL YE WITH POLITICAL OR JUDICIAL POWER!

  3. My dear Mr Smith, I respect your opinions and much enjoy your posts here. We do differ on our view of the benefits and viability of the American Experiment in Ordered Liberty. While I do agree that it could be better, and that your points in criticism are well taken, Utopia does indeed mean nowhere. I think Madison, Jefferson, Adams and company got it about as good as it gets in a fallen post-Enlightenment social order. That said, a constitution only protects the citizens if it is followed. We currently have a bevy of public officials and judicial agents who believe that their subjectivism, their personal ideology, their elitist fears and concerns and cause celebs trump the constitutions of our forefathers. This is most troubling. More to follow in the next post on that subject.

  4. Yep I am not Bryan Brown. Bryan you appear to be a bigger believer in the Constitution than I am. Were I still a big believer then I might be using my real name like you. Personally, I am no longer a fan of secularism. I favor the confessional state. In religious mattes, it seems to me that social diversity is chaos and conflict, while uniformity is order and peace.... secularism has been imposed by America on other nations now by force and that has not exactly worked out very well.... I think the American historical experiment with disestablishmentarianism is withering on the vine before our eyes..... Since I do not know if that is OK for an officially licensed lawyer to say, I keep the nom de plume.

  5. I am compelled to announce that I am not posting under any Smith monikers here. That said, the post below does have a certain ring to it that sounds familiar to me: http://www.catholicnewworld.com/cnwonline/2014/0907/cardinal.aspx

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