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How to calculate child support in California

On Behalf of | Feb 23, 2022 | Child Support

When two parents part ways, the higher earner in California may have to pay child support to the other parent. However, California won’t require anyone to pay more than the child needs for their expenses. The court strives to calculate a number that’s fair and reasonable.

Time you spend with the child

California incorporates the time you spend with your child into the child support calculation. To get this number, you should estimate what percentage of time your child is with you compared to what percentage of time they’re with their other parent. If you have more than one child with the other parent, then you’ll multiply the figure you get after calculation by the number of children to know how much child support you may have to pay.

Your income compared to the other parent’s

Each parent’s income after the allowable deductions plays a role in determining child support. Deductions you may take for the formula include union dues, mandatory payroll taxes, health insurance premiums and child support you pay for children from another parent.

The formula for calculating child support in California

CS = K(HN–(H%)(TN)) is how California calculates child support. K is the combined income of both parents. HN is the net disposable income of the higher earner. H% is the percentage of time that the higher earner will spend with their child. TN is the net disposable income of both parents.

In some situations, the judge can deviate from this amount as long as there is a good reason to. Family Code Section 4057(b) outlines the reasons in which a judge could either increase or decrease how much child support the higher earner must pay.

The child support calculation is a little complicated in California. You can do your own estimation to get an idea of how much you may have to pay, but it will ultimately be up to a judge.