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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. The child support award is many times what the custodial parent earns, and exceeds the actual costs of providing for the children's needs. My fiance and I have agreed that if we divorce, that the children will be provided for using a shared checking account like this one(http://www.mediate.com/articles/if_they_can_do_parenting_plans.cfm) to avoid the hidden alimony in Indiana's child support guidelines.

  2. Fiat justitia ruat caelum is a Latin legal phrase, meaning "Let justice be done though the heavens fall." The maxim signifies the belief that justice must be realized regardless of consequences.

  3. Indiana up holds this behavior. the state police know they got it made.

  4. Additional Points: -Civility in the profession: Treating others with respect will not only move others to respect you, it will show a shared respect for the legal system we are all sworn to protect. When attorneys engage in unnecessary personal attacks, they lose the respect and favor of judges, jurors, the person being attacked, and others witnessing or reading the communication. It's not always easy to put anger aside, but if you don't, you will lose respect, credibility, cases, clients & jobs or job opportunities. -Read Rule 22 of the Admission & Discipline Rules. Capture that spirit and apply those principles in your daily work. -Strive to represent clients in a manner that communicates the importance you place on the legal matter you're privileged to handle for them. -There are good lawyers of all ages, but no one is perfect. Older lawyers can learn valuable skills from younger lawyers who tend to be more adept with new technologies that can improve work quality and speed. Older lawyers have already tackled more legal issues and worked through more of the problems encountered when representing clients on various types of legal matters. If there's mutual respect and a willingness to learn from each other, it will help make both attorneys better lawyers. -Erosion of the public trust in lawyers wears down public confidence in the rule of law. Always keep your duty to the profession in mind. -You can learn so much by asking questions & actively listening to instructions and advice from more experienced attorneys, regardless of how many years or decades you've each practiced law. Don't miss out on that chance.

  5. Agreed on 4th Amendment call - that was just bad policing that resulted in dismissal for repeat offender. What kind of parent names their boy "Kriston"?

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