What is Income for Purposes of Child Support?
California Child Support is governed by Family Code Section 4058 which provides that child support is calculated based on income.
Income can come from (a) whatever source derived, except as specified in subdivision
(c) and includes, but is not limited to, the following:
i. commissions, salaries, royalties, wages, bonuses, rents, dividends, pensions, interest, trust income, annuities, workers’ compensation benefits, unemployment insurance benefits, disability insurance benefits, social security benefits, and spousal support actually received from a person not a party to the proceeding to establish a child support order under this article.
(2) Income from the proprietorship of a business, such as gross receipts from the business reduced by expenditures required for the operation of the business.
(3) In the discretion of the court, employee benefits or self-employment benefits, taking into consideration the benefit to the employee, any corresponding reduction in living expenses, and other relevant facts.
(b) The court may, in its discretion, consider the earning capacity of a parent in lieu of the parent’s income, consistent with the best interests of the children.
(c) Annual gross income does not include any income derived from child support payments actually received, and income derived from any public assistance program,
eligibility for which is based on a determination of need. Child support received by a party for children from another relationship shall not be included as part of that party’s gross or net income.
The main point here that as long as it is earned income, or income imputed to have been earned
from earning capacity, is considered income. Gifts: The courts in 2011 decided that a one time, lump sum
gift or inheritance is not income for child support
purposes, but recurring gifts have not yet been decided.
The argument can be made that recurring gifts
such as free housing, purchase of groceries and life necessities on a consistent basis is income for child
support but there is no court that has held that in which we can rely on.
So generally speaking gifts are not income.