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What counts as gross income when determining child support?

| Aug 14, 2020 | Arlington Family Law Blog |

Parents in Virginia have many responsibilities as they raise their children. They need to make choices about school and ensure their children are receiving a good education. They need to make medical decisions and bring them to the doctor. Parents also need to provide food, clothing and a roof over their heads. In addition to those responsibilities parents also allow their children to participate in extracurricular activities, take them to various recreational activities, give them toys and presents and many other things.

While these responsibilities and choices are important, they also cost money and sometimes significant amounts of money. This means that it is also the responsibility of the parents to provide the money to pay the expenses. When parents are married or living together this can be accomplished relatively easily as it does not matter who pays it. However, if the couple is divorced ensuring that both parents continue to contribute to these financial needs can be difficult.

That is why generally in a divorce one parent is required to pay the other parent child support. This ensures that both parents are contributing financially. The amount of the child support payment is generally based on the child support guidelines, which uses the gross income of the parents among other factors.

The gross income is one of the most important factors. Gross income includes, any wages, bonuses, commissions, severance, pension payments, dividends, social security benefits, workers’ compensation, unemployment benefits, rental income, spousal maintenance, capital gains, prizes and other forms of income.

There are many parents in Virginia who are divorced. The divorce ends the marriage, but it does not stop the parents from continuing to be the parents of their children. This means that they still need to help raise them, including providing for their financial needs through child support orders. Child support may seem like at fairly straightforward process based on the child support guidelines, but it can be complicated when trying to determine a parent’s true gross income. Consulting with experienced attorneys could be beneficial.