Ask the Lawyer – Is free rent income for child support purposes?

Dan-Gwin-new-photo-150x150This week’s question:  Is free rent income for child support purposes?


QUESTION: My husband and I are going through a divorce.  He has moved in with his parents and is paying nothing for room and board.  Does his free rent count toward child support?


ANSWER:   In order to determine what is included in income for child support purposes, look to the Michigan Child Support Formula.  Section 2.05(B) provides that income may include the value of gifts or gratuities such as money, food, shelter, transportation or other goods or services that a parent receives from relatives (other than a spouse, friend or others.  The value of the gifts may be added if the value is significant and regularly reduces personal expenses, or if it replaces or supplements employment income.  However, each case is different and a judge may not include that income depending on the unique circumstances of your case.  An attorney can help you determine the likelihood that the income would be included, suggestions on how to determine the value of that income, and how best to present your case to the court.


The lawyers at GWINN TAURIAINEN PLLC are experienced attorneys and are happy to answer your questions. Give us a call for a free initial telephone consultation about your legal needs. For consideration of your questions in our web column, please submit your inquiry on the “Contact Us” page of our website at


By: Daniel A. Gwinn, Esq.
Attorney and Counselor at Law
901 Wilshire Drive, Suite 550
Troy, MI 48084
(248) 247-3300
(248) 247-3310 facsimile