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Income Available for Support

One of the most important issues in many San Diego divorces is support, either in the form of child support or spousal support. Spouses can fight for months or years over how much support should be paid and the duration of time it should be paid for.  Before your attorney can give you a good idea of how much support a court might order in your case, you and your attorney must estimate the supporting spouse’s income available for support.  Income available support is easy to determine of the supporting spouse is a “W-2 employee” and receives a paycheck each pay period.  However, if the supporting spouse is a business owner, the issue of income available for support can be much more complicated.

Family Code § 4058 specifically defines “income” available for support for the purposes of determining child support.  Although this code section only references income of “parents,” it is still often used in the context of spousal support.

Pursuant to Family Code § 4058,
(a) The annual gross income of each parent means income from whatever source derived, except as specified in subdivision (c) and includes, but is not limited to, the following:

(1) Income such as commissions, salaries, royalties, wages, bonuses, rents, dividends, pensions, interest, trust income, annuities, workers' compensation benefits, unemployment insurance benefits, disability insurance benefits, social security benefits, and spousal support actually received from a person not a party to the proceeding to establish a child support order under this article.

(2) Income from the proprietorship of a business, such as gross receipts from the business reduced by expenditures required for the operation of the business.

(3) In the discretion of the court, employee benefits or self-employment benefits, taking into consideration the benefit to the employee, any corresponding reduction in living expenses, and other relevant facts.

If your case involves complicated questions regarding income available for support or even the income of a supported spouse, it is important to contact an experienced family law attorney to discuss your options.

Please contact us if you are considering a divorce from your spouse, a legal separation, or have questions regarding child custody and visitation. Nancy J. Bickford is the only Certified Family Law Specialist (CFLS) in San Diego County who is also a licensed Certified Public Accountant (CPA) with a Master of Business Administration (MBA). Don't settle for less when determining your rights. Call 858-793-8884 in Del Mar, Carmel Valley, North County or San Diego.