What constitute as income when calculating child support? Does it include unrealized capital gains (stocks)? So does a person who has a lot of stocks but very little income only be required to pay child support proportional to his income or can the court force the individual to sell some shares? How does the court determine how much to sell and how much should be paid in child support? Assume this is in the U.S. and in the state of California.
In California, everything that counts as taxable income for federal purposes, and then some. The form is here, the corresponding explanation is here starting p. 18. It includes things that are income but not taxable (see p. 24), such as tax-exempt interest. Potential profit i.e. unrealized capital gains coming from increased value in a home or increased share values is not income in the relevant sense. FAM §4058 is the statutes that lists some of what counts as income, but it says "includes, but is not limited to, the following". The courts' use of IRS tax forms as defining "income" is not mandated by the legislature, so if unrealized capital gains become taxable income at the federal level, the courts will have to decide how such "income" is to be treated.