Immigration Sponsorship Payments are Income for Child Support

Posted on December 30th, 2013

Child Support May Be Calculated Using Immigration Sponsorship Payments as Income

In the recent unpublished case San Bernardino DCSS v. Gross, decided July 23, 2013, the California Court of Appeal upheld a child support judgment based on a non-custodial mother’s sponsorship money. The sponsorship money was paid to her by the children’s father’s parents, as contracted when she came to the United States. The Court found that such “income” was fair game when calculating monthly child support.

The mother argued that the sponsorship payments were in place to prevent her from becoming a burden on the state welfare system, and that if ordered to pay child support, she would fall below the federal poverty line and require aid. Despite this argument, the appellate court affirmed the lower court’s order that the mother continue to pay $420 per month in child support.

Although not citable, as it is unpublished, this case demonstrates that sponsorship income is likely to be considered when calculating child support, even though its purpose is to support the immigrant recipient. Given that children take precedence under the State’s public policy, it is not surprising that the Court reached this conclusion.

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