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What Counts As Income When Calculating Child Support?


When it comes to calculating child support, essentially any payment from any source could qualify as income, which is one of the most important factors that courts use in determining a child support obligation. This means that a parent’s salary and wages may not be the only sources of funds that a court will consider income. Tips, commissions, bonuses, and even some government benefits can be counted as part of a parent’s income when calculating child support. To learn more about the ins and outs of calculating income for child support purposes, don’t hesitate to reach out to our legal team today.

Parental Income

When determining child support, a court will look at both parent’s incomes. This is true even if only one parent will be paying support to the other. In evaluating income, courts will look to specific types of payments, including:

  • Wages and salary;
  • Overtime pay;
  • Tips;
  • Bonuses;
  • Business revenue;
  • Rental income;
  • Alimony payments;
  • Annuity and pension payments;
  • Social Security benefits; and
  • Unemployment benefits.

There may be other sources of income that a court could consider when determining what is a fair child support award. Consult with an experienced attorney to learn more about these types of income and how they could factor into your child support obligations.

Establishing Income

Courts that are attempting to determine child support will require evidence from the parties of their income. This should include:

  • Pay stubs and paychecks;
  • Income tax returns from the last few years;
  • Documents of any income earned through real estate or business ventures, or other investments; and
  • Records of benefits collected through retirement or another social assistance program.

For help determining what other types of records you might need to help establish income, reach out to our legal team today.

What if a Parent Doesn’t Have an Income?

Just because a person isn’t employed, doesn’t mean that he or she won’t have to pay child support. Instead, a court will impute income if it believes that the lack of or reduction in income is due to an attempt to reduce or avoid child support payments. When imputing income, the court calculates what a person could earn given his or her level of education, skills, and work experience. If, however, the court believes that unemployment isn’t on purpose, but is due to the job market or another factor, it could instead calculate an amount that the non-earning parent can still pay. Once that person starts earning more, the other parent can request that the award be increased.

Contact a Florida Child Support Lawyer for Help

When a judge is attempting to determine child support, it’s important that the end result is fair. Whether you expect to receive or pay child support, having a dedicated legal representative on your side can help ensure that it is. Get started on your case by calling experienced Fort Lauderdale child support attorney Sandra Bonfiglio P.A. at 954-945-7591. You can also set up a free consultation with a member of our legal team by reaching out to us online.




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