Are you separated or divorced and co-parenting with your former partner? If so, chances are, you’ve already heard of child support. 


But do you know which types of income actually count towards it? 


This is an important question for both the paying parent and the receiving parent to know if they want to establish fair and equitable payments.


For many parents, figuring out the details of a child support agreement can be complicated and confusing. 


The law requires both parents to contribute to the financial support of their children, but it’s not always clear what counts as income when determining how much each parent must pay. 

What Is Considered Income When Determining Child Support?

The most common type of income used to calculate child support is wages or salary from an employer. This also includes all self-employment income as well but this isn’t the only type of income.


Some other sources of income that could be used are:


  • Bonuses or commissions;
  • Rental or investment income;
  • Royalties;
  • Disability Payments;
  • Unemployment Benefits;
  • Social Security Benefits;
  • Workers compensation benefits;
  • Net Capital Gains;
  • Alimony from another relationship


If the non-custodial parent owns their own business or has investments that are generating income for them, those assets may also be taken into account when determining child support payments. 


The amount of money owed by either parent in a child support case depends on several factors including each parent’s net monthly income as well as their respective roles in caring for the children involved. 


Is there income that can be excluded when it comes to determining child support?




There are some types of income that will not be used. This includes financial gifts received for the children of another relationship; means-tested public assistance program benefits such as Families First and SNAP (food stamps); trust or Social Security disability income earned by a minor child; and Low-Income Heating and Energy Assistance Payments, among others.


Generally speaking, the Court will consider each parent’s financial contributions towards the children’s needs such as medical bills and daycare expenses before making its decision about how much child support is due from each party. 


Take note that many states have laws regarding minimum amounts which must be paid by either party regardless of their individual financial situations.  


Knowing what constitutes “income” and what does not when it comes to calculating one’s obligation or right to receive payment for child support can be confusing at times without proper guidance by experienced legal professionals who have handled cases involving these issues before. 


Even if something does not qualify as “income” under the law, does not necessarily mean that such funds will never come into play during a court proceeding.


If you have questions regarding which types of monies should be considered in connection with issues involving matters concerning children, consulting with an experienced attorney would be the best option before taking any action. 


Need guidance? Have questions? Contact my team today, we’re here to help you anyway we can!