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Is My Spouse’s Income Included When Calculating Child Support?

by Steve Fritsch on December 3, 2012

Is my new spouse’s income (or “new mate income”) considered in child support calculations?  Obviously, including a new mate’s income in child support calculations would have a significant impact on the amount of child support paid.  The law states that the court cannot consider new mate income for the purpose of calculating child support except in extraordinary cases where excluding the income would lead to extreme and severe hardship to the child (Family Code 4057.5).   Also, the new marital lifestyle cannot be used as a basis for increasing child support.

What is an “extraordinary case”?  The Family Code states the following are examples of “extraordinary cases”:  (1) quitting work or intentionally reducing income, and (2) intentionally remaining unemployed or underemployed.  Although these examples may pertain to your situation, courts rarely include “new mate income” when calculating support.  Generally, if the custodial parent falls under one of these extraordinary cases, the court will usually impute income to the custodial parent rather than use new mate income.

However, “new mate income” is used to adjust the net disposal income based on the tax impact on the payor’s income.  Also, “new mate income” can be a basis for recalculation if a parent marries someone wealthy because the taxes will increase.  In other words, “new mate income” has an effect on the tax consequences which can have an effect on the amount of child support.  However, “new mate income” will not be added to the income of the custodial parent which would then lower child support.

DISCLAIMER:  This article is intended for educational and informational use only.  It is not intended to be legal advice in any way and should not be relied on for legal advice.  You should speak with an attorney should you need legal advice.


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