What is Considered Income When Deciding Child Support?

California takes a staunch approach to child support and providing for a child’s needs, accounting for some significant factors that influence this amount. Determining child support is complex and requires supportive but relentless legal guidance from a Los Angeles child support attorney, particularly in parental relationships that involve disagreements or disputes.

New challenges arise, mainly when one parent has served more of a caregiving role, opting to forego the financial advantages a career may offer to provide essential, quality time in a child’s upbringing. Many factors go into calculating child support to ensure a child’s needs are met.

Calculating Residential Time and Income

The courts will evaluate how much residential time each parent spends with a child and their income, so it is necessary to understand what qualifies as income. Qualified expenses, often similar to the same deductions when filing taxes, are deducted from gross income to calculate the actual income.

It is also critical to evaluate any self-employment income to be considered in child support. A tax return is for tax purposes only. The deductions the government allows can be different from those that affect child support.

Working with an experienced child support attorney in Los Angeles is essential when evaluating incomes to determine child support and avoid the consequences of not paying child support in California. Below, we outline the basics of what is considered income regarding child support.

Income Sources in Child Support

The courts will evaluate the following sources to assess child support payments in California.

  • Wages or salaries
  • Bonuses
  • Tips
  • Investment incomes
  • Unemployment
  • Retirement
  • Taxable social security income

Other sources of income may exist, but these are typical streams of income that benefit individuals.

Why Residential Time Matters

The time spent with a child in the home significantly contributes to calculating child support payments. The courts view the parent providing a central source of residential support for a child as the primary parent involved in raising a child. So, their need for child support may exceed the other parent’s need.

Fulfilling the duties of full-time work can be challenging for the parent responsible for raising a child when this responsibility requires that parent to spend more time in the home. Choosing to seek out more residential time when it is not a necessity for the child’s benefit but a choice requires the courts to evaluate the earning potential of that parent in the workforce.

All of these factors will be considered, and an appropriate representation of residential time with a child, earning potential, and child support needs will be considered before a ruling is made.

Los Angeles Child Support Attorney

Every parental relationship with a child is unique. Some parents provide sound financial support, while other parents work to enrich a child’s life in the residential environment. These roles and responsibilities are not gender specific, and each parent strives to provide many needs for a child to grow in a nurturing environment.

Martin Family Law Group takes an intimate approach to the needs of clients in a vast city, working with individuals to provide personalized care in a high-pressure environment. Our goal is to combine all aspects that define your relationship with your child to ensure workable solutions and financial security to meet specific demands. Schedule your free consultation today, and we will begin the work to find innovative solutions for your family.