Calculating Child Support
How much will my Child Support be?
All parents are expected to support their child(ren). To determine the correct child support amount, the court uses a “Statewide Uniform Guideline Formula.” The most important components of the formula are:
- The number of children involved
- Both parents’ incomes
- The amount of time each parent spends with the child (“visitation”).
To access the Statewide Guideline Calculator, click here.
The guideline formula uses both parents’ average after-tax income. Income is money from almost any source including, but not limited to:
- Wages (including tips, bonuses, commissions)
- Unemployment benefits
- Certain disability payments
- Worker's Compensation
- Interest income on savings accounts and other investments
- The judge may impute income to either parent. Imputed income is the amount of money a parent is able to earn, instead of the parent’s actual income.
The following are deducted from earnings:
- Mandatory union dues and retirement contributions
- Health insurance
- Child and spousal support ordered and being paid
The court may allow deductions such as:
- Job-related expenses
- Extraordinary health expenses
- Uninsured major losses
- Expenses of either parent’s other child(ren)
Visitation with your child(ren) is considered support. The more visitation you have with your child(ren), the higher your expenses may be. Based on your actual amount of visitation, your child support amount may be reduced so that you can continue to support your child(ren) when they are in your care.
Frequently Asked Questions
- How is the amount of child support determined?
Child support is determined using guidelines established by California law. The most important factors are:
- each parent's monthly income
- the amount of time the child spends with each parent.
- How can I get my child support amount changed?
Contact DCSS to request the order be reviewed for a modification. Either parent can request a modification review.