What Is Considered Income for Florida Child Support Purposes?
If you are going through a Florida child custody case, you probably have a lot of pressing questions. From wondering how custody is determined to seeking to understand “physical rights” and “legal rights,” parents of divorce want to understand every aspect of the child custody determination process. One aspect that parents seek to understand is how child support is calculated.
At the Law Offices of Schwartz | White, our child support lawyers have helped countless Boca Raton residents through the muddy waters of child custody cases, and have provided sound legal advice and unwavering support at every turn. For many parents, child support is of a huge concern. Whether a parent needs the support to provide for the child, or whether a parent is asked to provide the support, each parent has a vested interest in the child support award outcome.
How Is Child Support Calculated?
Child support is calculated based on each parent’s respective incomes. However, “income” does not necessarily mean your wages. While your hourly wage, salary, and/or commission will definitely be taken into consideration when the family court judge determines child support, under Florida Statute 61.30(2)(a), the following will also be taken into consideration:
- Bonuses, commissions, allowances, overtime pay, tips, and other cash you receive from your job. Because these types of payments are generally not the same from month to month, the judge will ask for a yearly average. In order to estimate an average, the judge will require tax returns, paycheck stubs, and other documentation showing your earnings from previous years;
- Self-employment income. Self-employment income is another type of income that varies from year to year. In order to calculate how much you make from your own business, the judge will review the business’s income from year to year, and then take out gross receipts and other necessary and ordinary business expenses;
- Disability and social security benefits. Because both disability and Social Security benefits are calculated with your family in mind, they are considered income and will be included in support calculations;
- Workers’ compensation benefits and settlements from any civil claims;
- Unemployment or reemployment benefits;
- Pension, retirement, or annuity payments;
- Alimony payments. If you receive alimony from the current court action or another court order, it will be calculated into your current income;
- Interest and dividends received from any and all accounts;
- Rental income. Rental income is calculated based on the amount taken in for rent, minus any legitimate expenses associated with the rental property;
- Income from royalties, trusts, or estates;
- Reimbursement expenses. Any kind of payments that reduce living expenses may be taken into consideration; and
- Gains from property dealings. If you sell any properties or have independent mortgages on said properties, the gains are considered as a part of your income;
Other sources of money will also be taken into consideration when the family court judge determines the child support award. The judge’s goal is to be as fair as possible, and to ensure that the child experiences the same standard of living at both parents’ homes.
Speak with a Boca Raton Child Support Lawyer
At the Law Offices of Schwartz | White, our goal is to help you understand the custody and child support determination process. If you have any questions, need legal advice, or feel that you would benefit from the representation of an experienced Boca Raton family lawyer, call our office at 561.391.9943 to schedule a consultation today.