Kinsey Law Offices
Child Support Calculation
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INDEX:


CALCULATION USING "DISSOMASTER" COMPUTER PROGRAM



For several years in California child and spousal support amounts have been calculated using "Guidelines" developed by the State Legislature. Judges and attorneys use a computer program called "Dissomaster" to do the calculation and, in most cases, the guideline amount is what the Court will order.

Many variables are plugged into the program to produce the final calculation. The main factors for determining child support are 1) the relative incomes of the parties and, 2) the amount of time each party spends with the children.

In working out divorce agreements, it helps greatly to know what the Court would probably order in a particular case. For this reason our firm offers a support calculation service for a flat fee of $75.00 to do a child and/or spousal support calculation using Dissomaster.

If you are interested in this service, send us an E-Mail and we will contact you either by phone or E-Mail with the details.



LONGHAND CALCULATION

The following is a 10-step form for calculation of guideline support. Be aware, however, that judges don't generally use this form; they use the computer program, Dissomaster. The end result you achieve by using our longhand form will only approximate the Dissomaster result.

INDEX TO THE LONGHAND CALCULATION FORM:

Step 1. List Necessary Information
Step 2. Combined Income Multiplied By Time With Child
Step 3. Subtract Step 2 From High Incom Parent's Income
Step 4. Add High Income Parent's Time With Child To The #1
Step 5. Step 4 Result Multiplied By .25
Step 6. Step 3 Result Multiplied By Step 5 Result
Step 7. Figuring For Multiple Children
Step 8. Allocating Support For Multiple Children
Step 9. Figuring "Low Income Adjustment"
Step 10. Add Child Care & Health Care Costs




STEP 1
LIST NECESSARY INFORMATION


We begin buy listing the necessary information we will need for steps 2 through 10 including:

  • Mother's net income
  • Father's net income
  • Total net income of both parents
  • Mother's time with the children
  • Father's time with the children
  • Number of children


"NET" INCOME: The Court generally determines what the "net" incomes of the parties are by looking at a Court form called an "Income & Expense Declaration" for each party. You can obtain this form from your local Superior Court Clerk.

Generally "net income" for purposes of child support calculation is gross income (every dollar of your gross income) minus Federal tax, State tax, Social Security, health insurance costs for you and your children, state disability insurance, mandatory union dues, mandatory retirement deductions, child and spousal support payments for another relationship, necessary job related expenses and any "hardship deductions." Hardship deductions include 1) extraordinary health care expenses, 2) catastrophic losses, 3) support expenses for children of other relationships living with you.

AVERAGE Vs. CURRENT: The Court generally looks at the average net incomes of the parties for the last 12 months. But what if your current income is different from the average? If your economic picture has changed so that your current income is different from your 12-month average and it looks to the court like the change is perminent, the current figure will be used to calculate support. If it looks to the court like the change is temporary or like you or your spouse are intentionally lowering your income to reduce child or spousal support, the Court will use the 12-month average and can, if it wants to, use the amount which it believes you or your spouse could be making if you were not playing games with the court. Its best to be honest with the Court.

MOTHER'S NET INCOME: $__________
FATHER'S NET INCOME: $__________
TOTAL NET FOR BOTH PARENTS: $__________
MOTHER'S TIME WITH CHILDREN ___________%
FATHER'S TIME WITH CHILDREN ___________%




STEP 2
COMBINED INCOME MULTIPLIED BY TIME WITH CHILD

In this step we multiply the percentage of time the "high income" parent has with the children by the total monthly net income of both parents.

"HIGH INCOME PARENT": The "high income parent" is the parent who has the higher net income of the two parents.

Calculation

TOTAL NET INCOME BOTH PARENTS: $____________

Multiplied By


HIGH INCOME PARENT'S TIME WITH THE CHILDREN ___________%

Equals


STEP 2 RESULT: $______________





STEP 3
SUBTRACT STEP 2 FROM HIGH INCOME PARENT'S INCOME



In Step 3 we subtract the Step 2 result from the high income parent's net income.

Calculation

HIGH INCOME PARENT'S NET INCOME: $____________

Minus


STEP 2 RESULT: $___________

Equals


STEP 3 RESULT: $___________





STEP 4
ADD HIGH INCOME PARENT'S TIME WITH CHILD T
O #1

In Step 4 we add the percentage of time the "high income parent" has the child to the number one.

Calculation

1.00

Plus


PERCENTAGE OF TIME HIGH INC. PARENT HAS CHILD: _________%

Equals


STEP 4 RESULT: _________






STEP 5
STEP 4 RESULT MULTIPLIED BY .25

In Step 5 we multiply the Step 4 Result by .25

Calculation

STEP 4 RESULT: $___________

Multiplied By


.25

Equals


STEP 5 RESULT: ____________
NOTE: This calculation (using .25 as the multiplication factor) works for most situations. Different multiplication factors must be used where total combined monthly net income is less than $800 or more than $6,666. In such cases, use the following chart to determine which multiplication factor to use:

  • $0 - $800 : Factor equals 20 plus Total Net Incomes Both Parents Divided by 16,000
  • $801 - $6,666: Factor equals 25
  • $6,667 - $10,000: Factor equals .10 plus 1,000 divided by Total Net Incomes of both parents
  • $10,001 or more: Factor equals .12 plus 800 divided by Total Net Incomes of both parents




STEP 6
STEP 3 RESULT MULTIPLIED BY STEP 5 RESULT
"BASE CHILD SUPPORT"

In Step 6 we multiply the Step 5 Result by the Step 3 Result. This gives us the "base child support" for one child. If there is more than one child involved, we'll figure their support in Steps 7 and 8.

Calculation

STEP 3 RESULT: $______________

Multiplied By


STEP 5 RESULT: $_______________

Equals


STEP 6 RESULT: $____________ ("Base Child Support" - 1 Child)





STEP 7
FIGURING FOR MULTIPLE CHILDREN

So far we've only calculated support for one child. In steps 7 and 8, we'll calculate and allocate support for two or more children. If you are calculating for one child only, you can skip steps 7 and 8 and go on to step 9.

To calculate base child support for two or more children, you multiply the base child support (Step 6 Result) by the appropriate "multiple children factor" in the chart below:

Multiple Children Factors:


Number Of Children - 2 - Factor - 1.6
Number Of Children - 3 - Factor - 2.0
Number Of Children - 4 - Factor - 2.3
Number Of Children - 5 - Factor - 2.5
Number Of Children - 6 - Factor - 2.625
Number Of Children -7 - Factor - 2.75
Number Of Children -8- Factor - 2.813
Number Of Children - 9 - Factor - 2.844
Number Of Children -10- Factor - 2.86

Calculation

STEP 6 ANSWER $____________

Multiplied By


MULTIPLE CHILDREN FACTOR: __________

Equals


STEP 7 RESULT: $_____________ (TOTAL CHILD SUPPORT)






STEP 8
ALLOCATING SUPPORT FOR MULTIPLE CHILDREN

Determining how much of the total support obligation is to be allocated to each child becomes particularly important as the older children reach majority and one-by-one obligations to support individual children begin to be terminated.

Here is a chart showing how the Courts generally allocate child support obligations among multiple children:

Allocation Of Child Support

TWO CHILDREN

Older - 37.5%
Younger - 62.5%


THREE CHILDREN

Oldest - 20%
Middle - 30%
Youngest - 50%


FOUR CHILDREN

Oldest - 13%
Second - 17.4%
Third - 26.1%
Youngest - 43.5%


FIVE CHILDREN

Oldest - 8%
Second - 12%
Third - 16%
Fourth - 24%
Youngest - 40%






STEP 9
FIGURING "LOW INCOME ADJUSTMENT"

The Courts may make a "low income adjustment" where the non-custodial parent's income is lower than $1,000 per month and the court finds that the reduction is justified by the facts of the case.

NOTE: this is optional and not mandatory.

Here's how to calculate the maximum adjustment the judge may make:

Calculation:

$1,000

Minus


NET INCOME OF SUPPORT PAYING SPOUSE (From Step 1): $____________

Equals $___________

Divided by


$1,000

Equals $_________

Multiplied By


STEP 7 RESULT: $___________

Equals


STEP 9 RESULT (Maximum Adjustment): $___________





STEP 10
ADD CHILD AND HEALTH CARE COSTS

The last step in the process is to add one half of child care costs and monthly health care costs not covered by insurance to the obligation of the the parent paying support

Calculation

BASE CALCULATED ABOVE: $_____________

Plus


1/2 CHILD CARE COSTS: $____________

Plus


1/2 UNINSURED HEALTH CARE COSTS: $____________

Equals


TOTAL SUPPORT: $______________

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