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Determining Income for Child Support

A Virginia Court determining a parent's child support obligation is required by law to first apply Virginia's statutory formula to the parties' incomes (and other variables) to arrive at presumptive calculations. To do so, the Court utilizes the parties' gross incomes, as opposed to their post-tax or "disposable" incomes. But what is considered "income" for this calculation?

Virginia law takes a very expansive and inclusive view of what constitutes "income." Under the law, essentially any money or thing of value received by a party is considered "income" to them. Without limitation, that can include:

- Wages/salary from employment;
- Bonuses;
- Commissions;
- Deferred compensation;
- Retirement contributions from employer;
- Stock options;
- Disability benefits;
- Social Security benefits;
- Unemployment benefits;
- Retirement withdrawals;
- Gifts;
- Inheritances;
- Prizes;
- Capital gains;
- Dividends;
- Interest;
- Royalties;
- Pensions;
- Spousal Support/Alimony;
- Rental income; and,
- Business income.

Virginia law only expressly excludes four categories of "income" when determining child support: certain public assistance benefits, federal supplemental security benefits, child support received and income from a second job taken for the purpose of paying a child support arrearage. It also permits one to deduct from one's income a portion of self-employment tax, reasonable business expenses (if self-employed), and child support being paid for other children.

If you have questions about how your child support obligation or entitlement will be calculated, particularly if your income comes from sources other than your primary employment, you should speak with a qualified law attorney at Duff & Kronfeld, P.C. for a complimentary 30-minute consultation (703) 591-7475.

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Fairfax, VA 22030

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