Family Law Blog

Should Gifts of Cash be Included in Spousal Support Calculations?

Thursday, March 14, 2019

husband and wife discussing alimony with lawyer

When it comes to spousal support, not every amount of income comes from what you make from a job. For some, their income includes regular monetary gifts from family. While if these funds come from something like a trust it will definitely be counted in the spousal support calculations if a family member regularly just sends you infusions of cash, that infusion could be counted in your income as well.

Take, for example, a husband is receiving regular $500 checks from his parents every month. They may be giving it to him as an early inheritance or because they simply need financial support. As it is a gift from a family member, it doesn't seem like it would be counted as income, but that is not so. If the couple is divorcing and the wife wants that monthly monetary gift counted in spousal support, her lawyer can argue that because they were made on a monthly basis, the payments qualify as a steady stream of income. The lawyer would then have to document a timeline that these gifts were made regularly for at least a few years and suggest that they would continue to be a regular occurrence in your ex-spouse's income.

If the family member making the gifts decides to cover and say they would no longer send the money but still did, the spousal support award could also be modified in the future to include the funds if the proper proof was provided. Typically, this proof would come from bank statements if you suspect that they are still receiving payments.

If you are filing for divorce, it is a tough and uncertain time. Let us help you through it and make sure you get what is rightfully yours. Contact us today to see how Jamra & Jamra can help you.