Willamette Law Online

Oregon Court of Appeals


Leif and Leif

Summarized by: 

Date Filed: 11-09-2011
Case #: A140273
Duncan, J. for the Court; Haselton, P.J.; & Armstrong, J.
Full Text Opinion: http://www.publications.ojd.state.or.us/A140273.pdf

Family Law: Including income from an inheritance in the calculation of gross income is appropriate when the inheritance is available. Also, averaging a parent's income over several years is appropriate when the income varies from year to year.

Father appealed the trial court's award increasing his child support payments after he received an inheritance of $75,000. Father argued the court erred when it included the inheritance, and when it averaged his income from 2004-2007 to calculate his gross income. Oregon law broadly defined gross income, and stated that it included “income from any source.” Father's inheritance was income because it was immediately available to him. Thus, the Court of Appeals concluded that it should be included in Father’s gross income. As to Father's second argument, the Court stated that averaging incomes is appropriate when incomes vary from year to year. Father’s income did not show a downward trend sufficient enough to invalidate the use of an average to calculate his gross income. Affirmed.