Gavel and money


Many clients are confused about how child support is calculated and what factors are considered, the following is a brief explanation.


Attorneys and judges use a computer program to calculate child support and spousal support.  The most common are Dissomaster or Ex-spouse.  The Department of Child Support Services (DSS) also has an online tool that calculates child support.  You will need to gather some information before attempting to calculate the amount of child support, for both you and the other parents.  The information can be found on your last tax return, your mortgage statement, and your paycheck stubs.  Specifically you will need to know:

What is the gross monthly income for each party? (before taxes)

How much does each party pay for health insurance?

How much does each party pay for union dues?

How much does each party pay for child care?

If a party owns a property:

What is the mortgage amount?

What are the property taxes each month?

How much of the mortgage payment goes towards the interest each month?

How much of the mortgage payment goes towards the principal each month?

And most importantly how much time does each party spend with the children?  I will have to address how to calculate timeshare in another blog, because that is a topic all in itself.

Once you have the above information, you can punch in the data to the computer program and you will get the amount of child support.  The input screen is arranged with one column for dad and one column for mother.  Each time you add a new figure you should make sure that the computer program re-calculates the amount of child support.


One of the troubling things for many clients is that the child support calculation does not account for monthly expenses.  So it will not matter if you have a huge monthly car payment, a lot of credit cards, or pay a lot in rent.

The child support calculation is aimed to make sure that children are taken care of, that they have enough food on the table, etc.  I often hear my clients say “I won’t have enough money to live on.”  I then explain that the Courts don’t care about that, they care that children are taken care of.


Of course, you can still attempt to persuade the court to consider some other factors, such as private school tuition or monthly uninsured medical costs.  There is room to punch these amounts into the calculation, which end up reducing the amount of support.   You just have to be ready to provide evidence of the special circumstance and to argue why it is in the best interests of the children to do so.

Remember that child support can always be changed, so if you suspect the payor is making more you should definitely do something.  Please feel free to contact me for a consultation.

By Norma Nogueda, Esq.
The Law Offices Of Vincet W Davis And Associates

Comments are closed.

Contact The Law Office Of Vincent W. Davis


Experienced Law Firm

Office Locations Where Can We Meet You?

Arcadia Office
150 N. Santa Anita Ave,
Suite 200
Arcadia, CA 91006
Phone: (626) 446-6442 Fax: (626)-446-6454
Get Directions
Beverly Hills Office
*Virtual Office
9465 Wilshire Blvd.
Suite 300
Beverly Hills, CA 90212
Phone: (310)-880-5733 Get Directions
La Mirada Office
*Virtual Office
Cerritos Towne Center
17777 Center Court Drive ,
Suite 600
Cerritos, California, 90703
Phone: 888-888-6542 Get Directions
Los Angeles Office
*Virtual Office
Gas Comdivany Tower
555 West Fifth Street,
31st Floor
Los Angeles, California, 90013
Phone: (213)-400-4132 Get Directions
Long Beach Office
*Virtual Office
Landmark Square
111 West Ocean Blvd.,
Suite 400
Long beach, California, 90802
Get Directions
Irvine Office
*Virtual Office
Oracle Tower
17901 Von Karman Avenue,
Suite 600
Irvine, California, 92614
Phone: (949)-203-3971 Fax: (949)-203-3972 Get Directions
Ontario Office
*Virtual Office
Lakeshore Center
3281 E. Guasti Road,
7th Floor
City of Ontario, California, 91761
Phone: (909)-996-5644 Get Directions
Riverside Office
*Virtual Office
Turner Riverwalk
11801 divierce Street,
Suite 200
Riverside, California, 92505
Phone: (909)-996-5644 Get Directions
San Diego
*Virtual Office
Emerald divlaza
402 West Broadway,
Suite #400
San Diego, California, 92101
Phone: (619)-885-2070 Get Directions
Aliso Viejo
*Virtual Office
Ladera Cordivorate Terrace
999 Cordivorate Drive,
Suite 100
Ladera Ranch, California, 92694
Phone: (714) 721-3822 Get Directions