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What counts as income when it comes to child support?

In Virginia, how much child support each parent is responsible for depends heavily, but not exclusively, on their gross incomes.

While how much person a Leesburg resident makes is sometimes pretty easy to figure out, such as when all of their money comes from one job, at other times, determining what counts as income for the purpose of establishing a child support obligation can be complicated and controversial.

Generally speaking, if a person is getting money or some other benefit regularly, then the income will count in figuring child support. There are a few exceptions to this rule. For instance, certain specific government benefits which people receive to meet their basic needs, like food stamps, will not count in the child support calculation.

Interestingly, there is also an exception for a person who takes on a second job in order to catch up in back child support. So long as the person can prove he or she took the job to pay off back child support, a court will not turn around and count that job as extra income and, thus, increase the person’s support payments.

What this means in practice is that just anything counts as income for child support purposes. In addition to typical items which people think of as income, even stuff like unemployment and proceeds from certain types of insurance, which are meant to replace a person’s income, will also count.

If regularly received, gifts from friends and relatives, including things like help with car payments or a free place to stay, also count as income, even though gifts are not reported on one’s income taxes.

Figuring out how much income each parent makes is an important question related to child support. As one can see, the calculation can also be complicated. This is why many Virginians call upon their family law attorneys to help them with child support issues.

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