One of the issues that pops up quite regularly is how to determine a service member’s income for calculating child support. Not all of a Servicemember’s income is taxable income. However, that doesn’t mean it is not considered income for purposes of calculating child support in Florida. In Florida we first look at a service members gross income (income before taxes and deductions are taken out). Florida Statute §61.30 (2)(a) defines what is considered gross income for the purposes of calculating child support. It states:

(2) Income shall be determined on a monthly basis for each parent as follows:
(a) Gross income shall include, but is not limited to, the following:
1. Salary or wages.
2. Bonuses, commissions, allowances, overtime, tips, and other similar payments.                                     3. Business income from sources such as self-employment, partnership, close corporations,                           and independent contracts. “Business income” means gross receipts minus ordinary and                           necessary expenses required to produce income.
4. Disability benefits.
5. All workers’ compensation benefits and settlements.
6. Reemployment assistance or unemployment compensation.
7. Pension, retirement, or annuity payments.
8. Social security benefits.
9. Spousal support received from a previous marriage or court ordered in the marriage before                      the court.
10. Interest and dividends.
11. Rental income, which is gross receipts minus ordinary and necessary expenses required to                         produce the income.
12. Income from royalties, trusts, or estates.
13. Reimbursed expenses or in kind payments to the extent that they reduce living expenses.
14. Gains derived from dealings in property, unless the gain is nonrecurring.

So what are some of a Servicemembers taxable income? They include:

1. Base Pay.
2. Hazardous Duty Pay (HDP)

3. Medical, Flight or Sea Pay

4. COLA (in continental United States) –

The types of non-taxable income that are included in gross income for child support includes:

1. Basic Allowance for Housing (BAH) . Even if a Servicemember is living on base and is not actually receiving BAH, it generally is still added to the Servicemember’s income as “in kind” income for purposes of calculating child support.

2. Overseas Housing Allowance (OHA)

3. Basic Allowance for Subsistence (BAS)

4. Overseas Cost of Living Allowance (OCONUS COLA)

So, in summary, Not only is a Servicemembers base pay and other taxable income, but additionally BAH, OHA, BAS and OCONUS COLA is also considered income for child support purposes, even though they do not appear on the Servicemember’s W2.

If you have any questions about child support or any other family law matter, please give us a call. Andrew G. Storie is a family law and divorce attorney who serves Orlando and all of Central Florida. For more information, or if you are contemplating a divorce or modification of your parenting plan please visit or call us at (407) 838-0887.