District of Columbia Child Support Definitions

Variation Definition

The child support formula established incorporates a variation of plus or minus 3% for each level. A variation within the plus or minus 3% limit need not be justified by written findings but specific findings are advisable. The factfinder shall consider at least the following factors in the application of a variation:

(1) A child has regular and substantial income that can be used for child support without impairment of the child’s current or future education;

(2) The noncustodial parent has special needs that require additional subsistence cost;

(3) The noncustodial parent pays for certain expensive necessities for the child, such as tuition or orthodontia;

(4) The child has moderately more than average needs;

(5) High child care costs are involved; or

(6) There is no medical insurance coverage, medical insurance coverage does not cover dental or major medical items, or the medical insurance coverage has a high deductible, and the expenses are paid or are to be paid by the custodial parent.

Definition of Income

(1) Salary or wages, including overtime, tips, or income from self-employment;

(2) Commissions;

(3) Severance pay;

(4) Royalties;

(5) Bonuses;

(6) Interest or dividends;

(7) Income derived from a business or partnership after deduction of reasonable and necessary business expenses, but not depreciation;

(8) Social Security;

(9) Veteran’s benefits;

(10) Insurance benefits;

(11) Worker’s compensation;

(12) Unemployment compensation;

(13) Pension;

(14) Annuity;

(15) Income from a trust;

(16) Capital gains from a real or personal property transaction, if the capital gains represent a regular source of income;

(17) Spousal support received from a person who is not a party to the child support order;

(18) A contract that results in regular income;

(19) A perquisite or in-kind compensation if the perquisite or in-kind compensation is significant and represents a regular source of income or reduces living expenses, such as use of a company car or reimbursed meals;

(20) Income from life insurance or an endowment contract;

(21) Regular income from an interest in an estate, directly or through a trust;

(22) Lottery or gambling winnings that are received in a lump sum or in an annuity;

(23) Prize or award; or

(24) Net rental income after deduction of reasonable and necessary operating costs, but not depreciation.

Child Support Modifications

There shall be a presumption that there has been a substantial or material change of circumstances that warrants a modification of a child support order if application of the guideline to the current circumstances of the parties results in an amount of child support that varies from the amount of the existing child support order by 15% or more. A child support order shall not be modified based solely on the enactment of the guideline. The presumption may be rebutted by:

(A) Proof of special circumstances such as a circumstance that would take a case outside the guideline; or

(B) Proof of substantial reliance on the original child support order issued prior to adoption of the guideline, and that application of the guideline, would yield a patently unjust result.