In California, there are several factors used to calculate child support. The first factor is the timeshare of the children, meaning where does the child reside. The second factor is the income, earning capacity or other imputed income of the parties.
Our office uses a program called the DissoMaster, which is used in Los Angeles County and Orange County courts. Other law firms and courts may use a program known as Xspouse to calculate child support.
What Goes Into Calculating the Child Support Order
The Child Support Services office does have a free online tool that you can use to get an approximate amount of what the child support would be. However, it does not have all the features in the paid programs.
The first step is to figure out what the parenting plan entails. How much time is the child going to spend with each of the parents? This is known as your timeshare. You want to take into account the additional time for holidays or vacation times awarded to both parents and what the weekly parenting plan is. Is there a 50/50 parenting plan? Does somebody have alternating weekends? All this is put into the child support calculations.
What We Do In My Office
In my personal professional experience and with my cases, we always first determine what child custody is. The next step is looking at the income of the parties. If both parties are W-2 employees, child support is very easy to calculate.
In other cases, it may be more complex if one of the parties is a business owner, or there may be cases where one parent voluntarily quits their job so that they do not have to pay support. In these cases you may need to have a vocational expert decide what is the earning capacity of that spouse.
After we put this information into the Child Support Calculator, we are going to need to look at what tax deductions are and how many other people are in the household. All these factors go into the child support calculator program.
Once all the information on both parents and the children have been provided, there will be a number which is known as a guideline amount of child support. The guideline is always presumed to be the appropriate amount of support. As child support can be a little bit tricky, you may want to seek the assistance of an attorney to determine whether you are receiving enough or paying enough or if you are getting too little.
If you have any questions, feel free to shoot us over an email or give us a call.