Is Free or Reduced Rent Included in Child and Spousal Support Orders?

A typical situation occurs where a party will live with their parents, or in a home for reduced or free rent. Is that free or reduced rent income which will alter the amount of child or spousal support?

Free or reduced rent is the only income for support purposes when it is a benefit of employment. See In re Marriage of Schulze 60 Cal. App. 4th 519.  Family Code Section 4058 subdivision (a)(3) defines "income" to include "employee benefits...taking into consideration...any corresponding reduction in living expenses." Thus, if the free or reduced rent is seen as an employee benefit, it can be income for child and spousal support purposes. The Schulze case found a party who worked for his parents and received reduced rent was a condition of his employment (not a gift from his parents) and found the reduced rent was income to him. 

Another argument could be made that if the reduced rent is a gift that is expected to reoccur in the future, then it is income to that party.

Santa Barbara Divorce Lawyer Marcus Morales and the Morales Law, P.C. team will answer any Santa Barbara Divorce Law question you have. Call us today for a free consultation (805) 422-7966

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