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Baltimore & Towson Lawyer Discusses Defining Income For Child Support Purposes

Written by Amar Weisman » August 26, 2014 »

Amar S. Weisman Is a Baltimore Domestic Lawyer With Experience Managing Complex Child Support Cases  

Generally speaking, child support awards are income-based. That being the case, it is imperative for parents to have an understanding of what can be deemed income for purposes of child support. The Circuit Court for Baltimore County follows certain guidelines with respect to computing child support obligations. Both parents' incomes will be considered and adjusted accordingly if they are currently making child support and/or alimony payments and if they are paying health insurance premiums for the child. 

Other considerations that can affect the amount of child support include extraordinary medical expenses, work-related child care and additional costs related to things such as private school, transportation between the parents' residences, etc. As your Baltimore and Towson family law attorney knows, there are a variety of funds that can be taken into consideration when calculating one's child support obligations. 

What Can be Deemed as "Actual" Income?

Typically, a person's actual income (which is what is used to compute child support) includes income from any source. Such income will, of course, include one's salary/wages, alimony/maintenance payments received, amounts received as commission and bonuses. But some people may not realize that actual income also includes pension, dividend and interest income, as well as income from trusts, annuities, Social Security, workers' compensation, unemployment and disability benefits.

Additionally, just about any Middle River and Towson family law attorney will tell you that if a parent is self-employed and/or owns a small business, certain amounts will be taken into account. With respect to income stemming from a small business and/or self-employment, actual income will be the gross receipts minus necessary and ordinary expenses that are required in order to generate income.

There are also other types of items that can be considered income, depending on the circumstances of the case. For instance, The Circuit Court for Baltimore County Judge might also choose to take into account amounts from severance pay received by a parent, gifts, capital gains, and/or prizes received. With respect to a parent who routinely earns overtime amounts as a part of his or her employment, that parent might be required to include those amounts as actual income, so long as the overtime amount is certain and not merely speculative. Non-monetary items, like fringe benefits, might also be included as income if they lower a parent's personal living expenses. Such benefits can include the use of a company vehicle, free housing and various reimbursed expenses.

What if the Parents' Income is Greater than $15,000?

Parents should note that the state's child support guidelines are not applicable to parents who have a combined adjusted income that is greater than $15,000 per month. In such cases, the court will take into account each party's financial circumstances and his or her age and physical condition, as well as the needs of the children.

Imputed Income

It also bears mentioning that if a parent is able to work, but chooses not to, the court can still treat that parent as though he or she has income. In order to impute income to a parent, the court must find that the parent is "voluntarily impoverished," meaning that he or she has the ability to work, but makes a voluntary and conscious decision not to. 

If you would like to learn more about what income is for purposes of calculating your child support obligation, contact a Baltimore and Towson family law attorney at the Law Offices of Amar Weisman, LLC as soon as possible.

Call (410) 321-4994 For a Free Consultation 

Call The Law Offices of Amar S. Weisman at (410) 321-4994 to schedule a Free ConsultationThe Purpose of the consultation is to determine whether you want to retain this law firm as your Baltimore County & Harford County Family Lawyer. If you do wish to proceed, then you must pay a retainer. See Our Policy on Fees and Costs. The family firm is located next to The Circuit Court for Baltimore County, at 1018 Dulaney Valley Road, Towson, MD 21204.