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Will those tickets to the game impact your child support payment?

The average reader might not make a connection between those concert tickets they got from their boss and their child support payments. However, these types of employer perks can often have an impact on the amount of child support that is due since perks from a job are considered a form of compensation in some states.

Under Florida child support laws, reimbursed expenses or in kind payments that effectively reduce the parent’s cost of living are considered income for the purposes of calculating child support payments. This means that employer perks like a car or a cellphone that is used for personal purposes could be considered a sort of income since it reduces the parent’s expenses.

The rules are different in every state and may have a different result when applied to a specific set of facts. For example, one free set of tickets per year might not be considered an income-supplementing perk, but free season tickets for an employee who has historically purchased the tickets themselves may be considered a perk that reduces their living expenses. On the other hand, season tickets are not really a necessity or a basic living expense, so the court could also disregard them entirely.

This concept was put to the test in a case in another state recently that went all the way to the state supreme court. In that case a man’s perks that included a cellphone, car, and car insurance were all considered income since the perks saved him the expense of obtaining those necessities on his own. On the other hand, football tickets that he was provided by his work were not considered a source of income because the tickets were used primarily for gifts for other employees or business associates, so the court did not believe the man received the full benefit of that perk.

Source: Columbus Dispatch, "Supreme Court: Job perks could increase child support payments," Darrel Rowland, Oct. 16, 2013. 

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