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What counts as income for child support in Ohio?

February 14, 2011

This article is written by Virginia Cornwell, an Ohio Child Support Attorney and Ohio State Bar Association Certified Family Relations Specialist.

People often want to know what counts as income according to the Ohio child support guidelines worksheet.  There are a lot of myths bouncing around about what does and does not count as income.  Ohio Revised Code 3119.01 gives the definition of gross income that the law requires your county Child Support Enforcement Agency (CSEA) or the Court to use when they figure out how much child support you will owe or receive. That statute says that the following things DO count as income for Ohio child support:

  • salaries
  • wages
  • overtime pay, bonuses and commission ( the SMALLEST NUMBER of the two following must be used: the yearly average of all overtime, commissions and bonuses for the last three years OR the total overtime, commissions and bonuses received during the year before the year when the child support obligation is being calculated.)
  • royalties
  • tips
  • rents
  • dividends
  • severance pay
  • pensions
  • interest
  • trust income
  • annuities
  • social security benefits, including retirement, disability, and survivor benefits that are not means-tested
  • workers’ compensation benefits
  • unemployment insurance benefits
  • disability insurance benefits
  • benefits that are not means-tested and that are received by and in the possession of the veteran who is the beneficiary for any service-connected disability under a program or law administered by the United States department of veterans’ affairs or veterans’ administration
  • spousal support actually received
  • all other sources of income.
  • For members of any branch of the United States armed services or national guard:
    • base pay
    • basic allowance for housing (BAH).  This replaced basic allowance for quarters (BAQ) and variable housing allowance (VAH) in 1998.
    • basic allowance for subsistence (BAS)
    • family supplemental subsistence allowance (FSSA)
    • cost of living adjustment
    • specialty pay
    • variable housing allowance
    • pay for training or other types of required drills;
  • self-generated income (self-employed or business owner)
  • potential cash flow from any source

It is important to note that the things listed here count as income for Ohio child support purposes, even if they are not taxed as income by the IRS.

DISCLAIMER – Read it, it’s important stuff!


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