Q. Are my social security benefits includible as income to me for purposes
of my spousal support and child support application?
Pursuant to California
Family Code section 4058 gross income for purposes of child support "means income from whatever
source derived". Subsection (1) specifically identifies social security
benefits as included.
While FC section 4058 is a child support statute, there is no companion
definition of income for temporary spousal support and as a result section
4058 is generally applied to that context as well.
The question often arises whether Social Security is inputted into the
support calculation as a taxable or nontaxable benefit - federal taxes
are imposed on some of Social Security benefits, depending upon on combined
income (the sum of adjusted gross income plus nontaxable interest plus
one-half of Social Security benefits). The bottom line is that ask the
Court to include it within "other taxable income" to avoid paying
both taxes on the income and higher child or spousal support!
Have more questions about how divorce impacts Social Security?
Thurman W. Arnold III