Employer Benefits Included in Child Support Income

A recent ruling by the Ohio Supreme Court addressed the issue of whether or not employer provided “perks” or other employer provided benefits, such as the value of a car, car insurance, a cell phone and the cell phone service, should be added into a parent’s income, for purposes of calculating child support.  While “employer provided benefits” have regularly been included in the gross income for purposes of child support calculation who are “self-employed”, there has been conflicting case law in the state of Ohio when the issue of employer provided benefits or “perks” has been raised for individuals who are not “self-employed.”  Employer benefits included in child support income calculations.

How is gross income defined for child support

Ohio Revised Code Section 3119.01(C)(7) defines gross income as the total of all earned and unearned income from all sources during a calendar year.  Also, Ohio Revised Code section 3119.01(C)(13) defines “self-generated income” as including “company cars, free housing, reimbursed meals, and other benefits, if the reimbursements are significant and reduce personal living expenses.”  The issue of whether employer benefits included in child support guideline calculation was proper for W-2 type employees who were not “self-employed” is one of the most notable questions that is answered by the Ohio Supreme Court in this case.  For the full Ohio Revised Code Section, see, http://codes.ohio.gov/orc/3119.01.

Employer Benefits Included in Child Support Income

The 2013 Ohio Supreme Court case of Morrow v. Becker clarifies how “gross income” is calculated for purposes of child support when “employer provided benefits” are involved, also known as employer provided, non-cash “perks”. The Court ruled that the value of the employer paid benefits were properly included in gross income for purposes of the calculation of child support.  See Morrow v. Becker, 138 Ohio St. 3d 11.   Employer benefits included in Child Support Guideline calculation.

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