Court-Ordered Child Support Question


My STBX wife and I are discussing the terms of our upcoming seperation agreement. We cannot afford lawyers of our own, but we have (well, I should say she has since they talk together now more) a friend who is going through a divorce as well, and this person is telling my wife that (according to her lawyer) child support MUST be incorporated into a court order in order for her to be able to count it as income. Is this true?

I have no issue at all with supporting my girls, but I am just trying to ascertain any other reasons why she would prefer incorporated over not… Unfortunately given past experience, I have to look into any ulterior motives that may be at work here. I am giving her more in the seperation agreement than (at least I believe) the law would require me to do otherwise, so could this be a way for her to make sure it’s harder to change later? I have read the Child Support FAQs here and it did touch on this somewhat.

What are some of the pros and cons of incorporating the child support vs. not? Thanks so much for this site, it is extremely useful.


Child support is not income, whether incorporated in a court order or not. If child support is contained in a court order it is harder to modify in the future, as the party requesting a modification must prove that a substantial change in circumstances.