Guideline Child Support

How Does the Court Determine Child Support?

Our Mission Valley family law and divorce experts explain how the court calculates child support in every case.

California Law sets forth certain guidelines that determine the requisite child support a parent is required to pay. Child support will vary according to certain factors, including:

  • each parent’s gross monthly income or ability to pay;
  • number of children;
  • the amount of time the child(ren) spend with each parent;
  • each parent’s tax filing status, including which party claims the child as a dependent;
  • health insurance expenses.

There are many other factors that the court must consider if they are applicable to either party in a case where support is an issue.  For example, if a party is self-employed and receives certain benefits through his or her employment, those benefits can be added to the income of the person for support calculations.  In cases where a party belongs to a union, those dues are deducted from the person’s income.  If either party owns a home or condominium, the property taxes and mortgage interest paid on a monthly basis are considered.  Finally, if a party has another dependent who is not involved in the case, such as a child from another relationship, the court can consider granting a hardship deduction if the facts warrant.  Likewise, if a support obligor has another child or spousal support order for another case that they are paying, that will be considered by the court.

The court uses a program called Dissomaster(R) to compute all of the above mentioned factors to determine a child support amount. The attorneys at Wilkinson & Finkbeiner, LLP have access to the same Dissomaster(R) program that the court uses in determining child support. The attorneys frequently use such program and can assist you in getting the best results in regard to an award of child support.

For more information, please contact our office at (619) 284-4113 to set up your consultation to discuss your child support matter.