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Can I use child support for a home down payment?

On Behalf of | May 24, 2024 | Child Support |

In California, divorce is complicated as is all child custody and support. However, what happens after divorce is equally as complicated. And, the question of whether child support funds can be used for a home down payment is a common one among post-divorced parents. To understand this issue, we need to delve into the nature of child support, the rules governing home down payments, and the implications of merging the two.

The nature of child support payments

Child support is a legal obligation where a noncustodial parent provides financial assistance to the custodial parent for raising their child. In California, both parents are mandated to financially support their children, with the amount determined by a formula considering various factors such as income and time spent with the child.

Child support payments and applying for a mortgage

When applying for a mortgage, child support payments can count as part of your income. This inclusion could potentially increase your overall income, making you eligible for a larger mortgage. However, lenders typically require evidence of consistent payments over a period and assurance that they will continue for at least 3 years.

First time homebuyers

California offers several programs to aid first-time homebuyers with down payments, but there are limitations. For example, the down payment cannot exceed 10% of the project price or $1,000, whichever is less.

Child support and a mortgage

While child support can contribute to mortgage qualification, it is crucial to respect the intended purpose of these funds and consider legal ramifications. Misusing child support may lead to legal consequences, as it is intended to cover a child’s living expenses. Additionally, using separate property sources like child support for a down payment could complicate matters.


It is technically possible to include child support payments as income when applying for a mortgage. However, it is essential to weigh the intended use of these funds and potential legal implications carefully.



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