Kevin Qualls Family Law
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Review of what income gets included in child support calculation

This post has previously discussed how important determining each parent's income is when it comes to calculating how much child support for which each parent will pay. Therefore, a review of exactly what counts as income under California's child support laws may be helpful to Orange County parents who are trying to figure out a child support dispute.

When compared with other states, California's definition of income is relatively narrow. It includes a person's wages and salary, and it will also include items like commission, regular overtime pay, interest and other things that are normally reported on a person's tax return.

Income also includes the amount of profit a person makes from his or her business. This may be difficult to calculate precisely, especially since a parent's income from a business can vary widely from year to year. This is one reason why a parent may want to get a family law attorney involved in calculating child support.

It is also important for parents to remember that just because California's laws are not particularly broad when it comes to defining income, California law gives courts discretion to consider whether it is appropriate to deviate from the state's child support guidelines. In this respect, judges can consider things like whether a parent who is earning a low cash income may be getting help in other ways, such as in the form of certain employment benefits or free rent from one's parents.

While child support in California gets determined by a formula, hopefully this post demonstrates that issues like income and the like can still cause significant difficulties for parents if they are not handled effectively and efficiently.

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Kevin Qualls Family Law
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