Bryan Hinshaw, A Professional Corporation

An Integrated Practice Serving The San Francisco Bay Area

Call to Schedule Your Initial Interview
New Clients: 415-906-3085
Existing Matters: 415-296-0800
View Our Practice Areas

How do tips and commissions affect child support?

Among salespeople, the hot streak can make your year. For a bartender, one very happy customer can mean a nice shopping spree. Incentive based income can be a blessing but, when it comes to child support negotiations, not having a set paycheck from week to week can feel like a curse.

According the Labor Statistics, there are roughly 3 million people in California working in food service and sales positions. Many of those people rely on tips, commissions, bonuses and other sources of income to make ends meet. When you are the primary breadwinner for your family, and your final income is heavily reliant on incentives, setting child support can be confusing.

Past performance determines future results

Judges have to use something to determine child support levels, and often all they have to go on is your history. California employs a child support calculator that takes into account every conceivable factor. The goal of the judge is to set the right levels of support for the child in order to provide for their housing and dietary needs. Judges have to make use of your tax forms and pay stubs in order to enter the correct information into that calculator.

People that work in sales or food service industries make up around 18 percent of the 16 million workers in California. It’s not just food and sales, but actors and dog walkers and anyone reliant on income outside of a base salary faces a common challenge of not being able to guarantee their pay from week to week, month to month and year to year. Add in the pressures of child support negotiation, and it is a recipe for heavy stress.

Try to keep things in perspective

As the primary breadwinner for your family, working as hard as you can to support them is what you are going to do anyway. It is important for you to take care of yourself and manage your stress by keeping a long view on your prospects. You could move to a different position or settle in and continue working in whatever industry makes you happy. First find out if your child support obligations can be modified. You may have other options. In the end, things generally average out, cold streaks end and the next customer could be a great tipper.

No Comments

Leave a comment
Comment Information