Southern California Family Law Blog

An algebraic formula that was created back in 1992 is still effective and used by California courts to determine how much child support should be paid by the non-custodial parent to the custodial parent, also known as “guideline child support”. The result of the equation also applies to joint custody if the parents’ incomes are considerably different or if one parent spends more time with the children.

The court believes that the California child support figure resulting from the use of the formula is the most accurate means for calculation. The formula, which is calculated by a computer, is composed of the following:

  • CS = K [HN- (H%) (TN)]
  • CS is the amount of child support
  • K is the part of both parents’ income owed for child support, which differs based on the number of children to be supported
  • HN is the high-earner’s net monthly disposable income
  • H% is the high-earner’s approximate time of physical responsibility for the child or children
  • TN is the parents’ combined total monthly net disposable income

In addition to the above formula, numerous deductions are allowed in computing net monthly income in relation to standards outlined by the California Family Code. Some of these deductions include:

  • state and federal income taxes
  • Federal Insurance Contributions Act (FICA) contributions
  • union dues
  • retirement benefits
  • disability and health insurance premiums
  • job related expenses

Child support in California is an intricate matter that demands precision and insight under full understanding of the law. Having the legal counsel or representation of a skilled family law attorney can make a huge difference in helping you determine whether or not the formula works for your particular child support case. The skilled California child support attorneys at the Family Law Offices of Wallin & Klarich are familiar with how much child support cases vary from one another based on the unique circumstances that case possesses. We understand that although the child support formula is almost always sufficient, due to a special circumstance that can occur in a particular case, sometimes the application of the formula is not appropriate. One example is in a situation where the children have special medical or other needs that may require a higher amount than what the formula produces.

If you or someone in your extended family with children is filing for divorce or is trying to establish divorce matters after the initial separation, it is crucial to be familiar with the state of California child support guidelines. It would also be in your best interest to seek the legal counsel of a top California child support attorney. The Wallin & Klarich Family Law Firm has the knowledge and experience that you need to ensure adequate financial support for your children.

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