Child Support

What Do I Include When I Calculate  Income 

Your spouse not a W-2 wage earner? What if he/she worked some overtime. Is it included? What about the rentals which come in from the house your spouse owned before you were married? What if your spouse doesn’t receive a monthly check, because he/she is self employed? What about the bonus he/she got last year? Or, what if he isn’t even trying to work?

Actual Income

The Guideline calculation is based upon a parent's "actual income", which includes income from any source:





Dividend income

Pension income (So if your spouse is retired from the military, even if  all their time was put  in 

             before your marriage, it is included)

Interest income

Trust income (Even though his grandmother set up the trust 15 years before your  marriage)

Annuity income

Social Security benefits

Workers' compensation benefits                                                             

Unemployment insurance benefits                                                                     

Disability insurance benefits;

Alimony or maintenance received; and

Expense reimbursements or in-kind payments received by a parent in the course of employment, self-employment, or  operation of a

             business to the extent the reimbursements or  payments reduce the parent's personal living expenses.

Other Sources of Income


Severance pay; (If your spouse received 3 months of pay when a job  was terminated for cause, it MAY (not must) be taken into account.


Capital gains; (If your spouse sold a vacation property last year, the  capital gain of $40,000.00 which was reported on last year’s tax return  MAY (not must) be)taken into account in the calculation.


Gifts; or Prizes.

Incomes from self-employment, rent, royalties, proprietorship of a business, or joint ownership of a partnership or closely held corporation


Self-Employed Persons-Complications


"Actual Income" means gross receipts minus ordinary and necessary expenses required to produce income. (But what if he/she always deducts the car expense, the cost of the magazines you read at home, depreciation on the typewriters they use at the office, their entertainment?) The determination of income may be complex.  Courts will allow deductions of reasonable business expenses before determining net income. But courts may disallow unusually high business expenses and depreciation that reduce income artificially without hurting the parent's cash flow. Thus, certain expenses that are deductible  for tax purposes may not be deductible from income for the purpose of setting child support.



      Public Assistance


"Actual income" does not include benefits received from means  tested public assistance programs, including aid  to Families with  Dependent Children, Supplemental Security Income, food stamps, and General Public Assistance.


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