Anna M. v. Jeffrey E.Annotate this Case
Jeffrey E. and Anna M., parents of A.E., share equal custody of the child. After Anna sought a child support award, evidence established that Davis F., Anna's friend and A.E.'s godfather, financially supports Anna and pays her expenses of over $30,000 a month. The court rejected Jeffrey's argument that Davis's financial support should be considered in determining the amount of Jeffrey's child support obligation. The court concluded that regular, recurrent gifts to a parent may be characterized as income to that parent for purposes of calculating guideline child support, but they do not indicate gifts must be so characterized in every case; the trial court has discretion to consider gifts as income when they are a regular, recurrent monetary benefit to the parent; and courts are mindful not to base a child support calculation on monies a parent does not actually have. In this case, the court concluded that the trial court did not abuse its discretion in failing to characterize Davis's gifts to Anna as her income when calculating the child support. The court explained that the evidence was sufficient for the trial court to reasonably conclude the financial support Davis provides Anna does not represent a regular, recurrent monetary benefit fairly representing income for purposes of calculating the child support award. Accordingly, the court affirmed the judgment.