Stephen J. Buhler, Attorney at Law

What is factored into the computation of my gross income?

When a Utah court determines that child support should be ordered in a family law matter it will look to the state's guidelines to determine how much money the non-custodial parent should pay for the benefit of their child or children. One of the most significant factors that the guidelines consider is the amount of money that the parent makes, which is considered their gross income. This post will briefly discuss the types of income that are included in gross income but readers are reminded that this post should not be read as legal guidance.

First, a parent's earned wages are part of their gross income. This can include their salary as well as any commissions or tips that they earn on top of their base pay. Also, gross income includes any bonuses that they parent may receive as a result of their employment or any severance pay that they receive when they leave a job.

Next, gross income includes ongoing payments that a parent may receive, such as from royalties for selling book or screenplay. Gross income will include any prize money that a parent wins, any gifts that the parent receives from any source, as well as rents or interest that the parent earns from investment properties or accounts.

Finally, gross income may include the payments of alimony that a recipient parent receives from a former spouse as well as any financial support that the parent receives from the government, such as from the Social Security Administration. Once a parents gross income is calculated and the gross income of the child's other parent is also evaluated, a court may use the state's guidelines to determine a child support award.

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