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I provide experienced legal guidance in family law, divorce and special education law. I represent parents and families throughout western Massachusetts.

How are the parents' income determined in child support?

There are many important considerations when it comes to child support. Not every marital arrangement makes these considerations clear cut. When it comes to child support, there are many complexities that can come into play. One common complexity that arises in many of these cases is the amount in which a parent should pay each month. This is not an easy determination.

One way courts will decide on the amount owed each month is by looking at the income of both parents. Just how are the parents' income determined in child support?

The courts will actually look at many different funds that will be considered income. It is not only the parent's salary that will be considered. Salaries do make an important part of the consideration - including commissions, tips, profit sharing, bonuses and severance pay - but courts will also weigh in pension income, annuities, trust income, along with any income from second jobs or contractual agreements. Any investments or interest income will be included as well.

What's more, any veterans' benefits will also be factored in, along with military personnel fringe benefits and any benefits coming from social security. Prize money, gifts, education money, royalty, rent, self-employment money; all may be included in the final estimation.

Determining a parent's income involves much that may not be initially obvious. When undergoing this process, it can help to have legal aid on a parent's side along with way. With the aid of legal expertise, parents can fight for the best possible outcome. By obtaining a fair child support agreement, parents can make sure that both their and their children's best wishes are honored.

Source: FindLaw, "Child Support: Determining Parents' Income," Accessed on Oct. 6, 2015

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