Maine Child Support Definitions

Definition of Gross Income:

GROSS INCOME. "Gross income" means gross income of a party as follows.

A. Gross income includes income from an ongoing source, including, but not limited to, salaries, wages, commissions, royalties, bonuses, dividends, severance pay, pensions, interest, trust funds, annuities, capital gains, social security benefits, disability insurance benefits, prizes, workers’ compensation benefits, spousal support actually received pursuant to a preexisting order, and educational grants, fellowships or subsidies that are available for personal living expenses. Gross income does not include child support received by either party for children other than children for whom support is being determined.

B. Gross income includes expense reimbursements or in-kind payments received by a party in the course of employment or self-employment or operation of a business if the expense reimbursements or in-kind payments reduce personal living expenses.

C. Gross income includes gross receipts minus ordinary and necessary expenses when a party is self-employed or derives income from proprietorship of a business, joint ownership of a partnership or a closely held business operation, and rents minus ordinary and necessary expenses. At the discretion of the court, amounts allowable by the United States Internal Revenue Service for the accelerated component of depreciation expenses or investment tax credits may or may not be treated as ordinary and necessary expenses. The court may also determine that other business expenses, including, but not limited to, business losses, are inappropriate for determining gross income for purposes of calculating child support.

D. Gross income may include the difference between the amount a party is earning and that party’s earning capacity when the party voluntarily becomes or remains unemployed or underemployed, if sufficient evidence is introduced concerning a party’s current earning capacity. In the absence of evidence in the record to the contrary, a party that is personally providing primary care for a child under the age of 3 years is deemed not available for employment. The court shall consider anticipated child care and other work-related expenses in determining whether to impute income, or how much income to impute, to a party providing primary care to a child between the ages of 3 and 12 years. A party who is incarcerated in a correctional or penal institution is deemed available only for employment that is available through such institutions.

E. Gross income does not include the amount of preexisting spousal maintenance or child support obligation actually paid pursuant to court or administrative order, or an appropriate amount of child support being voluntarily paid by a party who has a legal obligation to support that child.

F. Gross income does not include the actual incremental cost to a party for the provision of adequate health insurance coverage for each involved child.

G. Gross income does not include the amount of money received from means-tested public assistance programs, including, but not limited to, Temporary Assistance for Needy Families, supplemental security income, food stamps and general assistance.

Adjustments to Income:

CHILD CARE COSTS. "Child care costs" means the actual child care costs incurred by the parties for each child for whom support is being established that are related to that party’s employment, education or training and are reasonable or customary in the area in which that party resides.

EXTRAORDINARY MEDICAL EXPENSES. "Extraordinary medical expenses" means uninsured expenses over $ 150 in the aggregate per child or group of children supported for each calendar year and includes, but is not limited to, reasonable and necessary costs for orthodontia, dental treatment, asthma treatment, physical therapy, chronic health problems and professional counseling or psychiatric therapy for diagnosed mental disorders.


PARENTAL SUPPORT OBLIGATION. "Parental support obligation" means the portion of total support obligation a party is ordered to pay in money as child support.

PRIMARY RESIDENCE. "Primary residence" means the residence of a child where that child receives residential care for more than 50% of the time on an annual basis.

PRIMARY RESIDENTIAL CARE PROVIDER. "Primary residential care provider" means the party who provides residential care for a child for more than 50% of the time on an annual basis.

TOTAL SUPPORT OBLIGATION. "Total support obligation" means the sum of money determined by adding the basic support entitlement, child care costs and extraordinary medical expenses.