California law provides guidelines to the court for setting child support payment amounts. The “Calculator” is a computer tool that uses those guidelines to calculate appropriate child support payment amounts. To use the Calculator, you must go online to childsup.ca.gov/calculator (link below) and enter information into the data entry fields in the Calculator. After the information is entered, the Calculator produces the payment amount.
Information Used to Calculate Support
The amount of child support is based on each parent’s net disposable monthly income and the amount of time the child is cared for by each parent. For the purpose of calculating support, the court considers income from all sources, whether or not it is reported or taxed under federal and state law. Income can be in the form of money, property or services, and includes: wages, tips, commissions, bonuses, self-employment earnings, unemployment, disability, workers’ compensation, interest, dividends, rental income, social security, pensions, and any payment or credits due or becoming due.
The court determines net disposable income for each parent by subtracting certain items from his or her income, including: taxes, mandatory union dues, mandatory retirement contributions, health premiums, child support or spousal support actually being paid, and costs of raising children from another relationship. The court uses the net disposable income of each parent and the percentage of time each parent spends with a child to set the child support payment amount.