Does alimony count as income when determining child support?

mens divorce lawyer William BackerQuestion:

I pay child support to my ex-wife. She is now divorced and receiving alimony from her second husband.

Could I get my child support payments modified based on the fact the spousal support she is receiving counts as income?


In calculating a child support amount, one of the factors to be considered by the court is all of the financial resources of both of the parents. The court will consider a modification of a child support order to be appropriate when there is a substantial and continuing change in the financial resources of one (or both) of the parents.

Spousal support, alimony, and maintenance are all terms which are used to refer to one spouse’s obligation to provide financial support following a legal separation or divorce. The IRS treats spousal support payments received as income to the recipient for individual income tax purposes.

For purposes of determining the appropriate amount of child support, courts will consider spousal support payments received as a financial resource of the receiving spouse.

In the situation you are asking about, the spousal support payments that are actually received by your ex-spouse are most definitely a financial resource. If this additional resource is substantial and continuing, that could be the basis to modify your child support obligation.

You should consult with an attorney that practices in California and that is experienced in domestic litigation, and more specifically, has experience in handling child support modifications. You will be able to discuss the specific facts of your situation and the applicable laws in California.

Cordell & Cordell has men’s divorce lawyers in 17 states.


William F. Backer is an Associate Attorney in the Arnold, Missouri office of Cordell & Cordell where he practices domestic relations exclusively. Mr. Backer is licensed in the State of Missouri. Mr. Backer received his Bachelor of Science degree in Business Administration, with emphasis in Accounting, from the University of Missouri – St. Louis. He then went on to receive his Juris Doctor from Saint Louis University School of Law in 1999.

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One comment on “Does alimony count as income when determining child support?

    What about ex-wife going thru second divorce with child? Are child support payments from second divorce, although not taxable, count as income? Will 2nd-divorce child support payments count as ‘income’ that can be also reason to modify my child support payments?

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