In a divorce, how is gross income defined for child support?

Louisiana couples who are getting a divorce will need to consider support issues. This includes child support and how it will be determined, what the supporting parent will be obligated to pay, and what the receiving parent will get. The key to a child support determination is the best interests of the child, but financial matters are critical to the parents. Making ends meet and paying for their own living expenses can be complicated and the law assesses several factors when deciding what is and what is not gross income in a divorce and child support case.

Any source that provides income will be considered in the context of gross income. That includes the person’s salary, their wages, commissions, bonuses, dividends, pensions, trusts, annuities, severance and more. If the person gets expense reimbursement or in-kind payments as part of their employment, it must be deemed significant and reduce the person’s living expenses to be considered gross income. If there are normal and required expenses needed to produce income and it is subtracted from gross receipts, it will be considered gross income. There are amounts that are allowed by the Internal Revenue Service for tax credits, business costs and depreciation that will not be appropriate to calculate as gross income for child support.

It is also important to know what is not categorized as gross income. If the person gets child support or receives public assistance, it will not be counted as gross income. For those receiving a per diem that is not taxable, it will not be considered gross income. Those who get a monetary gift to supplement child support and that payment is received irregularly will not be required to count this payment as gross income. Finally, disaster relief benefits are not gross income.

There are many issues that will be considered in a divorce case and, when there is child support, the gross income of the parties will be a vital component. Since this will have a substantial impact on the future of the parents and the child, it is important to be protected from the beginning. A law firm experienced in divorce and all its various categories should be called for help.

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