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What Constitutes “Income” for Child Support Purposes?

Posted on in Child Support

NOTE: As of July 2017, the law governing child support in Illinois has changed. Please see our Child Support page for more information.

illinois child support lawIf you ask an individual person what his or her income is, he or she would likely give you the amount of his or her salary. While that is, of course, income, it would not be the only number included within the term income for child support calculation purposes. What payments, then, will be counted as income for a non-custodial parent’s child support calculations? The Statute

Section 505 of the Illinois Marriage and Dissolution of Marriage Act deals with child support and the accompanying calculations. The statute clarifies that when calculating child support amounts, the statutory percentages must be applied to the payor’s (non-custodial parent who will be responsible for paying the child support) net income. The statute then goes on to state that net income is defined as “the total of all income from all sources” less the specific deductions listed.

Illinois courts have been known to interpret the phrase “income from all sources” quite broadly and have included into the income calculations many non-recurring payments that most people otherwise would not think constituted income. Examples of non-traditional payments that fell within the definition of income according to the courts in determining child support include:

  • Workers’ compensation awards;
  • Certain pension benefits; and
  • Gifts made to the payor parent by someone other than an employer.

Basically, a court calculating a parent’s child support responsibilities may consider any bit of additional substantial income that a parent receives. The fact that the income was received as a lump sum or that it will not not occur again may not be enough to keep it out of the calculations.

People receiving Social Security Disability Insurance (SSDI) would likely not have these monthly payments counted against them in child support calculations. SSDI is considered payment provided to individuals who have become disabled and have worked at least five of the previous 10 years. If the parents inform the Social Security Administration offices that the recipient of SSDI also has dependent, non-custodial children, that office will also issue a dependent disability allowance to account for those children, sent directly to the custodial parent.

If you or someone you know is considering a divorce and has minor children, contact Davi Law Group, LLC today to schedule an appointment to meet with an experienced DuPage County domestic relations attorney who can help you determine what kind of child support you may be entitled to receive, or alternatively, forced to pay. All parents have a right to understand the Illinois child support laws and to be fully informed of the financial responsibilities of both parents. Call us today to learn how the statute and its calculations will apply to your family’s situation.

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