If you get free rent + utilities as part of your job does that count as income in child support cases?

My ex and I are separated and both filing for child support. She is an onsite apartment manager and makes about $800/month but she also goes a FREE apartment and FREE rent as part of her job. So will the courts count her income as $800 or would they count $800 + value of apartment + utilities she is getting for free? I have a regular job and I pay rent and utilities like normal so I dont think its fair if it appears that she barely makes $800 when in reality she is making almost 2k per month

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  • 9 years ago
    Favorite Answer

    It really depends on your state's laws. For example, in California, there is case law that supports free rent, company car, etc., as income. The citations are In re Marriage of Cheriton, (2001) 92 Cal.App.4th 269 (citing Stewart v. Gomez, supra, 47 Cal.App.4th at pp. 1754-1755 [reasonable value of rent-free housing is income]; In re Marriage of Schulze, (1997) 60 Cal.App.4th 519 [company car and parent-employers' rent subsidy constitute income].

    Pursuant to tax law, the apartment complex can even report her free accommodations as taxable income to her. Generally, this is not reported on the W-2 because it is not income paid out; however, she may receive a 1099 form at the end of the year.

    I would suggest requesting a copy of her tax records prior to the hearing.

    Source(s): I am a family law attorney.
  • Archer
    Lv 7
    9 years ago

    You will need to ensure that this "financial" support is stated so that the judge is aware of it.

    Even though it is not essentially "monetary" in nature it is a form of support that has a monetary value. Some judges may consider it income due to its assessed value.

    There should be a "complete disclosure" demanded when assessing support so that the award is fair for both parties and actually is the actual needs of and expenses incurred caring for shared children.

    I don't believe that demanding full disclosure from both parents so that a fair assessment can be made on behalf of the children, not the parents, is wrong. Some will attack without provocation due to ignorance or bias.

  • Liz
    Lv 7
    9 years ago

    It won't count as income but it's one less expense she can claim. I remember when I was filing for child support I was given a sheet where I had to fill in my expenses. They included things like rent, utilities, medicine, laundry, groceries, clothing etc. At the end you total it all up so the judge can see how much you need per month to keep life going. She would have to leave the rent and utilities blanks blank.

  • No, the rent/utilities will not be included in the support calculations. It will go on your "earned income" which is what is shown on your paycheck. If her income is $800.00 a month, that's the calculation they will use.

    Source(s): Personal experience.
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  • Marina
    Lv 7
    9 years ago

    It does not count as income at all, but she can not claim she has the expense when she doesn't. Stop trying to reduce child support. Take care of your child.

  • 9 years ago

    They only factor in whatever shows up on your W-2 forms.

  • 9 years ago

    Don't know let the courts sort it out, they will usually go on her side though.

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