May 2019 | No. COA18-1139 (N.C. Ct. App. 2019)

Orange County, ex rel., Lacy v. Canup (North Carolina 2019)

The definition of income may include the value of rent when a parent is living rent-free. The parents were not married and had one child. The father acknowledged paternity when the child was born. The child support agency filed an application for order to show case as to why a support order should not be entered. The mother wasn’t employed, but she periodically sold personal items and deposited the proceeds in her bank account. The court averaged the amount of the deposits and counted this as income. She lived rent-free with her grandparents, and the courts counted the value of the rent as income, too. The court entered its final order, setting current support and arrears. The agency appealed the calculation of the mother’s income. The court of appeals found that the definition of income includes maintenance received from other parties. The court of appeals found no abuse of discretion in assigning a value to the rent and including it as income to the mother.

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