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What is considered gross income for child support calculations?

| Apr 1, 2021 | Child Support |

There are many different aspects of raising children in Virginia. There are many decisions that parents must make for their children. There are many expenses that parents must pay for them as well. Parents must pay for the basics such as food, clothing and shelter, but they also must have health insurance, pay medical bills, potentially pay for child care, pay for extracurricular activities, entertainment and other costs. Raising children can be expensive.

When parents are married, paying for these costs may just be part of their joint monthly budget and be paid for from joint accounts. However, this will no longer be an option if the parents end up divorcing. It is important to ensure that both parents are still contributing to the financial needs of their children though and to ensure they are both doing that one parent may be required to pay the other child support each month.

Calculating child support obligations

The amount that a parent pays depends on a number of factors, but the calculations start with determining the gross income of both parents. Gross income includes almost any type of money received and includes, but not limited to, wages, salary, commissions, bonuses, capital gains, pensions, trust accounts, workers’ compensation benefits, unemployment benefits, rental income, spousal support and other forms of income.

Some forms of income are not included as gross income though. These sources are public assistance, supplemental security income benefits, child support and money earned from overtime or a second job if the job was obtained to pay child support arrears. Spousal support payments would also be deducted from gross income.

Determining the gross income of the parents is only the first step in the process of calculating child support though. After the gross income is determined the child support guidelines will determine the monthly child support obligation based on the gross income. There may also be contributions for health insurance and child care as well. Experienced attorneys understand how child support is determined and may be a useful resource.