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How is child support calculated?

California uses a statewide formula for determining the amount of child support. This formula is known as “guideline support.” The guideline calculation is based on a number of factors, including:

  • The number of children
  • How much income the parents earn or can earn
  • The amount of time each parent spends with their children
  • The tax-filing status of each parent
  • Health insurance expenses
  • Union dues and mandatory retirement contributions
  • Tax deductions that the parties receive via contributions to mortgage payments and 401(k) accounts