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What counts as income for child support purposes?

Those who have children can find the divorce process especially difficult. Sure, property division and alimony disputes may come into play, and can have a substantial effect on one's financial security moving into post-divorce life, but many parents going through marriage dissolution are most concerned about how to care for their children. For custodial parents, this means seeking out a fair amount of child support from the noncustodial parent.

In Louisiana, the amount of child support a noncustodial parent is ordered to pay is based on guidelines which take into account the combined income of both parents. The idea sounds simple enough, but it can be easily complicated simply by asking what counts as "income." Thankfully, the law provides some guidance. A noncustodial parent's salary and wages, which may include tips, bonuses, and commission, count towards his or her income. In addition, money received from one's pension, trust, and self-employment may be deemed income.

But the list doesn't stop there. Social Security benefits may be counted towards one's income. Workers' compensation and disability benefits may also be considered income for child support purposes.

With so many sources of income in play, though, it can be easy to either miss some or fail to recognize changes in income, which can have a negative impact on a custodial parent. To help calculate a parent's income and fight for a child support amount that is fair under the circumstances, Louisiana parents may want to think about speaking with a family law attorney who will put their and their children's interests first.

Source: FindLaw, "Child Support: Determining Parents' Income," accessed on July 29, 2016

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