H2R CPA Blog

Income and support calculations in divorce

by Brett Fulesday, CVA

As part of H2R CPA’s Litigation Support practice, we provide expert consulting and testimony services to assist counsel and their clients going through divorce and marital disputes.  Family-law attorneys often require these services on behalf of dependent and independent spouses in cases involving a variety of complex issues.

Beginning with this post, and on a continuing basis, we will highlight a specific Pennsylvania-based, family-law case and identify a few of the meaningful – and complex – topics at play.

Let’s start with Susan M. Berry v. Douglas R. Berry.

Filed on May 2, 2006, in Pennsylvania Superior Court, on appeal, Ms. Berry (the Mother) contended that the trial court erred in the following ways:

  • By classifying Mr. Berry (the Father)’s severance payment and partnership-accrual account as income and not as marital assets subject to equitable distribution; and
  • By permitting the Father’s net income to be reduced by such items as mandatory pension contributions, mandatory political action committee contributions, loan principal payments and unreimbursed business expenses.

The Mother’s contentions revolved around the Father’s income, which gave rise to such issues as:

  • ‘Double dipping’ (“using the same revenue as a source for ‘support’ and ‘equitable distribution’”),
  • The timing of when income was earned (during the marriage or after separation), and
  • The actual calculation of net income for support purposes.

These are not random issues that have no practical application; rather, these are issues that we confront in nearly every divorce-related engagement. Understanding their meaning and application is essential. We acknowledge – and embrace – this reality, which helps to explain why family-law attorneys have turned to H2R CPA for assistance for more than 30 years.

Contact H2R CPA’s Litigation Support practice at 412-391-2920 or team@h2rcpa.com to learn more about our family law expert consulting and testimony services. Our team would be pleased to provide a complimentary consultation. 

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