In the unpublished Virginia Court of Appeals case of Williams v. Sykes-Williams from 2022, the parties were married for 9 years and had four children born during the marriage. During the divorce proceedings, the family of the husband’s paramour gifted the husband $52,202.07 to pay his legal fees. The wife requested both spousal support and child support from the husband.
The trial court included the $52,202.07 gift as income to the husband for purposes of calculating spousal and child support. The husband appealed to the Court of Appeals of Virginia. The question on appeal was whether the trial court erred by including the $52,202.07 gifted to the husband from his paramour’s family as income when computing spousal and child support.
The Court of Appeals affirmed the trial court’s ruling for the following reasons: 1) Virginia Code §20-108(A) provides that a court may consider “all evidence presented relevant to any issues” and therefore, for purposes of spousal support, the trial court properly considered the gift as income; and 2) Virginia Code §20-108.2 (C) specifically includes in the definition of “gross income” all “gifts, prizes, or awards,” therefore, the trial court properly considered the gift as income to the husband for the purposes of support.
Please contact the lawyers at Hicks Crandall Juhl, PC if you have any questions regarding gift income for the purposes of child or spousal support.