One of the factors used to determine child support payments are the incomes of both parents. While many people may consider what their employer's pay them to be their annual income, this is not always the case. For instance, money received from a pension or the sale of stock could be considered income for child support purposes. Social Security or military benefits may also be included in this total.
Essentially, anything that could reduce the expenses of a parent may factor into what is considered income. Therefore, perks such as expenses that are reimbursed or even the income of a new spouse or partner could be taken into account. Parents should be aware that unrealized income may also be part of the income equation. There have been conflicting opinions in various states as to whether or not proceeds from stock options or interest from an IRA should be counted as income.
While there is no consensus as to what the answer is, there is a possibility that it could be included in a parent's total income. Therefore, it is something to consider or talk about with an attorney during the divorce process. However, a New York court did hold that any capital gains that were reported to the IRS but never received are not to be considered income.
When it comes to child support, the state may consider parental income to be almost anything that can be used to handle expenses.. Therefore, it may be a good idea to talk to an attorney who may be able to explain what is considered income and how it may influence monthly child support obligations. However, it is important to note that parents are generally not asked to pay more than they can afford without creating a hardship.