Father’s Bonuses Should Be Averaged in Tennessee Child Support Law

Tennessee child support law on income determination (bonuses and commissions) in Tennessee family law from the Tennessee Court of Appeals.

Burnett v. Burnett – Calculating Bonuses and Commissions for Tennessee Child Support Awards

The Father, David Mark Burnett, an account manager with Fedex, and the Mother, Analiza Palatones, were married in 1999.  The couple had three children.  In 2003, the Mother filed for divorce.  At the time of the first trial, the Mother, 36 years old, had a high school degree and worked part-time as a waitress and part-time with Northwest Airlines, escorting unaccompanied minors.  In these two jobs, over a two week period, the Mother earned approximately $200.  The Father was 45 years old at the time of the trial and had been working for Fedex for sixteen years.  His monthly net base salary was $4,829 plus quarterly bonuses, which changed significantly from year to year.  In 2005, Husband earned  a yearly salary plus bonuses totaling $120,213.38.   In 2006, the Father’s FedEx earnings statement through October 14, 2006 showed gross earnings of $111,812.80, consisting of base salary plus bonuses. The Father’s affidavit showed his bonuses for 2003, 2004, 2005, and 2006 were $7,389, $20,810, $36,810, and $43,402, respectively. Continue reading