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California Child Support Guidelines

How is child support determined in California? Under California family law, all child support orders must be calculated using the same statewide guidelines. While a court ultimately decides the child support amount for each case, your Solano County divorce attorney can calculate a reasonable estimate of the amount of child support you owe to your child’s other parent or the amount the other parent owes you by using the California Guideline Child Support Calculator on the website of the California Department of Child Support Services (DCSS).

Determination of child support in California is based on the net disposable monthly income of both parents and the proportion of each month that each parent cares for the child. Net disposable monthly income is a function of all income sources, regardless of whether or not they are reported to or taxed by the state or federal government.

Income sources used for child support calculations

For the purposes of determining child support, California considers the following sources of income in calculating net disposable monthly income:

  • Wages
  • Tips
  • Commissions
  • Bonuses
  • Unemployment benefits
  • Self-employment earnings
  • Rental income
  • Dividends
  • Interest
  • Workers compensation and disability benefits
  • Pension and Social Security payments
  • Any other payments or credits, including lottery and other prize monies, that a parent is owed

As they are considered mandatory or unavoidable, the following expenses or payments are subtracted from income:

  • Taxes
  • Health insurance premiums
  • Child support or alimony currently being paid
  • Estimated costs of caring for other children
  • Mandatory union dues
  • Mandatory contributions to retirement accounts

Once net disposable monthly income is determined for both you and the child’s other parent, the court uses this information—along with information regarding how much time each parent cares for the child—to calculate child support payments.

Using the California Guideline Child Support Calculator

Even if everyone has access to the same income information, it is not uncommon for you, the child’s other parent, the family law firm involved in your child support case, and the court to obtain different results from the calculator. This happens because people make different assumptions regarding the taxability of different sources of income, the amount of time each parent spends caring for the child, and exemptions or credits claimed by either parent.

Contact a Solano County family lawyer

If you are battling over child custody or child support payments in the midst of a divorce or otherwise, the Solano County family lawyers at Mattice Law Offices in Solano County can help. With years of experience in family law, our lawyers can help you separate emotional issues from legal and financial issues and can ensure that your interests and desires are protected. Contact us today for a consultation.

Mattice Law Offices: 547 Jefferson Street • Fairfield CA. 94533 • 707-429-2222 • Map