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Can my ex-husband use all expenses that the IRS allows to come to an Adjusted Gross Income to be used for child support calcula?

Orlando, FL |

My ex-husband is a Realtor and makes VERY good money, six figures, however we are trying to negotiate a child support amount to be paid (I have two children and only make $45k per year) and I have read (and he has told me along with his attorney) that he can use his Adjusted Gross Income which comes out to less than $50k when he adds all his self-employed deductions. This seems ludicrious to me. He wants to pay me $500/mnth for 2 kids because he literally writes off everything. Mortgage, car, insurance, realtor fees, etc. I have read some blogs where judges have thrown out some of this expenses even though they are allowed for taxing purposes. He has an expensive house, car, pays ridiculous fees to his realtor board that arent really necessary, please help!!

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Attorney answers 4


It is unlikely he will be able to utilize his adjusted gross income as reported on his tax return for child support purposes, but you will have to go through his deductions with a fine tooth comb. As a self employed individual his net income will be his gross earnings less the costs incurred to produce those gross earnings. You will definitely need an attorney as well as a forensic accountant to get to his true net income and prove the same in court.


Daniel Bachert, Esq.
The Bachert Law Firm, P.A.
330 Clematis Street, Suite 222
West Palm Beach, Florida 33401
(561) 653-3951

Please be aware and advised that this public forum is designed to provide only general information, to give you a basis of legal knowledge. This public forum does not give you attorney-client privilege. You and I have not entered into an attorney-client relationship. I am not responsible for your legal rights and this answer is based solely on the information you have provided in your question and as always, I would advise that you arrange for an in person consultation with an attorney from my firm or another Family Law attorney familiar with Florida Family Law who can analyze the specific facts and circumstances of your case more closely to better advise you.


Florida Statute 61.30 (2)(a) defines what should be included as gross income for child support purposes in Florida. It includes, but is not limited to:
Salary or wages.

Bonuses, commissions, allowances, overtime, tips, and other similar payments.

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.

Disability benefits.

All workers’ compensation benefits and settlements.

Unemployment compensation.

Pension, retirement, or annuity payments.

Social security benefits.

Spousal support received from a previous marriage or court ordered in the marriage before the court.

Interest and dividends.

Rental income, which is gross receipts minus ordinary and necessary expenses required to produce the income.

Income from royalties, trusts, or estates.

Reimbursed expenses or in kind payments to the extent that they reduce living expenses.

Gains derived from dealings in property, unless the gain is nonrecurring.

This answer is offered for informational purposes only. It is not offered as, and does not constitute, legal advice nor does it constitute an attorney-client relationship

Hillary Johns

Hillary Johns


Hire a lawyer licensed in your state and have your lawyer review your file for a comprehensive answer.


Unlikely for child support purposes. I recommend you consult and retain an attorney for a case like this. Please feel free to contact my Orlando office at 407-377-6828 for a free consultation.

You should consult an attorney for advice regarding your individual situation since every case is different and not all information is relayed in an online question. The Law Office of Ophelia Bernal-Mora, P.A. is a family & criminal law firm located in Orlando, Florida, we invite you to contact us and welcome your calls at 407-377-6828. Contacting us does not create an attorney-client relationship. Please do not send any confidential information to us until such time as an attorney-client relationship has been established.


On the Florida Child Support guidelines, the law reflects that the Court takes his "business income" for child support calculations. The business income is:

gross receipts - ordinary and necessary expenses required to produce income.

The law does not say these "ordinary and necessary expenses" are specifically the deductions the I.R.S. allows. So, the ordinary and necessary expenses are a subject for a judge to decide and, therefore, you are right on what you have read on some sites. The judge may disavow some, or many, of the I.R.S. deductions. As it says, they are "ordinary and necessary expenses" not "allowable I.R.S. deductions".

Because of the complexity of your case, and I know you probably have heard it a lot, but you should seek the counsel of a competent family law attorney to guide you through it to the best results possible.

Also, you may want to remember that you can always ask the court for an "upward" deviation of the child support guidelines calculations under certain conditions.

Alejandro R. Lopez, Esq.
Law Office of Alejandro R. Lopez, P.A.
4465 Edgewater Dr.,
Suite A
Orlando, Fla. 32804
Ph.:(407) 649-1404

Robert M Chambers

Robert M Chambers


I agree totally with this answer. With the disparity in stated incomes you should have an experienced divorce lawyer represetnign you and the first order of business would be to apply to the court for temporary suit money and court costs to assist with the expenses of a good CPA. Another tactic that works well with those in the real estate business who often buy and sell for their own account is to subpoena from every bank where they might have a mortgage or loan copies of the loan documents including the applicaton for the loan. He has to disclose his income on that document and will provbably have overstated it. It is a federal crime to do this. Therefore when confronted with a gross overstatemnt many people will agree that this is their income rather than risk the loan app winding up on a US Attorney's desk. Additionally there are some types of "adjustments" to gross income, such as alimony, that are adjustments but also deductions from AGI for child support calculation purposes. Need to make sure he doesn't take if off twice. Good luck