With the pandemic causing fluctuations in child support, the issue of income averaging has been a more frequent issue. Below are some cases that address this in addition to a portion of the family code that provides guidance.
When a trial court is presented with a situation in which an obligor’s income fluctuates significantly, they may average such income for purposes of calculating child support obligations under the statutory guidelines. Swabb, 282 S.W.3d at 526, citing Norris v. Norris, 56 S.W.3d 333, 341-42 (Tex.App. El Paso 2001, no pet.) (determining that the trial court did not abuse its discretion by ordering support based upon average amount of monthly net resources for two-year period given fluctuation in obligor’s income), see also In re Sanders, 159 S.W.3d 797, 801 (Tex App Amarillo 2005, no pet.) (upholding trial court’s averaging of obligor’s income for ten-year period of time in determining retroactive monthly support).
TEX FAM CODE 154.063 requires the production of two years of tax returns to the other side to determine child support.