A Parent’s Gross Income Is the Main Factor in Determining Child Support
Video Transcribed: Do fringe benefits count towards your income for determining child support in Oklahoma? I’m Oklahoma attorney James Wirth and that is the question before us. Today I’m doing a series of videos related to issues in child support in Oklahoma.
And that’s the one we’re talking about is fringe benefits and how they count. Because the main factor in determining child support in Oklahoma under Oklahoma Child Support guidelines is going to be party’s, the parent’s gross income.
But how do you determine gross income? We’ve got some prior videos on that, but then also you have to look at fringe benefits. So do fringe benefits count towards your income for child support purposes? And the answer is some do, some don’t. So the standard fringe benefits that you may think about, do generally count to increase your income. It’s all statutory. It’s under Oklahoma law and you can find it’s Title 43, Section 118B(e).
And it says that “Fringe benefits for inclusion as income or in-kind enumeration received by a parent in the course of employment or operation of a trader business shall be counted as income if they significantly reduce personal living expenses.”
And it provides some examples. “Such fringe benefits might include but are not limited to per diem or other allowance, company car, housing, room, and board. Basic allowance for housing, basic allowance for sustenance and variable housing allowances for service members are considered income for the purposes of determining child support.”
So all of those fringe benefits do count towards your gross income. It’s added onto your income and then you plug that in for determining your child support. “Fringe benefits do not include employee benefits that are typically added to a salary or a wage or other compensation that a parent may receive as a standard added benefit.”
It’s not really clear from there what we’re talking about, but then it lists them and then we know what they’re talking about. “Such as employer contributions to portions of health insurance premiums, or employer contributions to retirement or pension plan.” So if your employer pays part of your health insurance premium, that does not count as a fringe benefit added to your income. Same thing with additions or contributions to retirement or pension plan.
So if they provide you with a company phone that you can use for personal use as well, that reduces your expense because you don’t have to get your own phone that counts towards your income. If they provide you with a car, that counts towards your income.
If they provide you per diem to pay for food and on those types of issues, that counts as well. If they provide you housing… well, now you don’t have to pay for housing. That reduces your cost. So it does add to your gross income for determining child support. But contributions to health insurance, pensions, retirement plan, do not get added to your gross income for determining child support.
All right, if you’ve got any questions about that or other issues related to child support, you’re going to want to talk to an attorney about that privately, confidentially. To get that scheduled somebody at my office, you go online to makelaweasy.com