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Does rental income count towards gross income for child support determination?

Phoenix, AZ |

Non-custodial parent bought a house and took a roommate to offset mortgage expense. Roommate pays $600 per month in rent, has his own room, and run of the house. To my knowledge, there is no rental agreement, and the money is under the table.

When confronted with evidence of the rental income, other parent's response is that the roommate will move out a week after the projected hearing date. It is clear that roommate has been paying rent for 7 months. Further claims that only $400 is rent...the other $200 is roommates share of utilities. Both claims seem silly to me, but I'm not a judge. Do they have merit?

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Attorney answers 2


It doesn't matter if there is no agreement or if the money is made under the table, it would still be considered gross income. It should be included in the child support calculation.


There is no question that rental income CAN be considered income as long as it is a regular payment. If in fact he is contributing towards utilities or other costs, you can try and argue that the parent's costs have been reduced as a result and therefore, his income increased, so to speak. Keep in mind judges have a lot of discretion on such issues but it's always worth making those arguments.