Definition of Income for Calculating Child Support and Alimony

| Feb 13, 2015 | Child Support |

The definition of income in the Massachusetts Child Support Guide lines (guidelines) is broad and includes twenty-nine specifically identified sources of income.  For purposes of these guidelines, income is defined as gross income from whatever source regardless of whether that income is recognized by the Internal Revenue Code or reported to the Internal Revenue Service or State Department of Revenue or other taxing authority.  Those sources include, but are not limited to, the following:

  1. salaries, wages, overtime and tips;
  2. income from self-employment;
  3. commissions;
  4. severance pay;
  5. royalties;
  6. bonuses;
  7. interest and dividends;
  8. income derived from businesses/ partnerships;
  9. social security excluding any benefit due to a child’s own disability;
  10. veterans benefits;
  11. military pay, allowance and allotments;
  12. insurance benefits, including those received for disability and personal injury, but excluding reimbursements for property losses;
  13. workers’ compensation;
  14. unemployment compensation;
  15. pensions;
  16. annuities;
  17. distributions and income from trusts;
  18. capital gains in real an personal property to the extent that they represent a regular source of income;
  19. spousal support received from a person not a party to this order;
  20. contractual agreements;
  21. perquisites or in-kind compensation to the extent they represent a regular source of income;
  22. unearned income of children, in the Court’s discretion;
  23. income from life insurance or endowment contracts;
  24. income from interest in an estate, either directly or through a trust;
  25. lottery or gambling winnings received either in a lump sum or in the form of an annuity;
  26. prizes or awards;
  27. net rental income;
  28. funds from earned income credit; and
  29. any other form of income or compensation not specifically itemized above.

The language of the Alimony Reform Act is clear that all of the payor’s spouse income, as defined by the guidelines, must be included in any calculation of alimony.

In light of these guidelines, an in-depth discussion with an experienced family law attorney can help alleviate future financial problems.

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