Husband makes $50k one year and then $150k the next. Now the parties are divorcing and the court needs to decide child support and alimony amounts. Husband obviously says $50k is the right income - Wife says $150k is correct. What should the court do?
Courts often turn to experts for help. Averaging the person's income over a period of time (say 2 years) is also used. Arkansas law provides that the court cannot "cherry pick" a successful time period for purposes of calculating support (85 Ark. App. 419). This implies that the court cannot choose a particularly unsuccessful time period either.
The following case, which upheld the trial court's calculation, holds that the most current information is usually the best evidence - but accuracy in making the final determination is equally important so older information may also be needed.