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What income is counted in Virginia child support calculations?

The income of the two spouses has impacts in many different key issues in Virginia divorces, including child support issues. Under the state's child support guidelines, among the main figures courts use in calculating child support obligations are the gross incomes of the two parents.

Most income is counted

What is counted as "gross income" for child support calculation purposes? State law directs that, generally, "income from all sources" is to be included. Examples of common types of income that are counted include:

  • Wages/salaries
  • Bonuses/commissions
  • Investment income
  • Rental income
  • Severance
  • Spousal Support
  • Gifts
  • Prizes
  • Awards
  • Disability insurance benefits
  • Veterans' benefits
  • Workers' comp benefits


Included income sources are very wide-ranging. It is worth noting, however, that there are a few types of income that generally are to be excluded from gross income when it comes to the calculation of child support. The main types of excluded income under state law are:

  • Federal supplemental security income benefits
  • Child support
  • Certain public assistance benefits
  • Certain secondary employment income obtained to cover child support arrearages


Also, there are certain things that state law directs to be deducted from gross income in child support calculations. This includes:

  • Half of self-employment taxes paid
  • Under many circumstances, child support being paid in connection to another child in relation to a written agreement or court order
  • Reasonable business expenses

The types of child support calculation issues that are likely to arise in a Virginia divorce, in part, depends on what kinds of income the two parents are receiving and what sorts of payments they are making.

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