What is Included in “Income” for Child Support?

Child support ensures that your kids’ basic needs are met and that both parents are financially making contributions to the children’s upbringing. But how does the Court even determine where this amount comes from? First, it has to figure out how much “income” the parents have.

The Many Sources of Income

When someone asks you, “What is your income?” your initial reaction may be to tell them what you make per year as your salary or what your hourly wage is. This is indeed income, but income may potentially also come from:

  • Commissions, Overtime, Tips & Bonuses
  • Unemployment payments
  • Rental properties (rents you receive)
  • Military pay
  • Draws you take from your own business
  • 1099 income or income from certain contracts
  • Pensions
  • Royalties or dividends
  • Gambling or lottery winnings
  • Distributed profits from a retirement account, an annuity, or a trust fund

What if My Ex Refuses to Work?

If a parent has voluntarily decided not to work, this doesn’t get them out of paying child support. Instead, the Courts might “impute” income onto that parent. In other words, the Court may decide what amount that parent could potentially
make. In doing this, the Court will consider a variety of factors, including but not limited to:

  • The parent’s prior employment and work history
  • The parent’s education or degrees
  • How many jobs are available in the local market
  • The age, health, or criminal record of the parent
  • Any special skills or training the parent has
  • The parent’s attempts at finding new employment

Because no person’s situation is exactly the same, it is important to meet with legal counsel for guidance on what the Court may decide is your (or your child’s other parent’s) level of income. An attorney can also look at potential deductions from your income that the law may allow or, to ensure that deductions the other parent is claiming are truly legitimate. Navigating the intricacies of child support income can be complicated, but our attorneys have the experience to guide you through – Call 847-380-3175 or send us a message to set up a free appointment at our office.