Courts in California utilize computer software in calculating “Guideline” child support. There are generally two software programs that are used depending on what county you live in. The first is Dissomaster which is a popular program used in Los Angeles County and X-Spouse which is the other program used in San Bernardino and Riverside Counties. Regardless of what program is used, they typically vary by a few dollars at most.
The first of the basic factors that make up child support are:
I. Number of Children
The basic calculation for child support is CS = K (HN - (H%) (TN)). This base amount of support is multiplied by a factor depending on the number of children that you have jointly with the other parent. If you have one child, support will be the calculation set forth above. However, for two children, the result is multiplied by 1.6 and for there children, the result is multiplied by 2.0. Only the children of the parties are considered in calculating guideline child support. For cases involving more than one child, the majority of support is allocated to the youngest child.
II. Timeshare/Parenting Time:
In California, Child Support is directly related to the amount of time that you are responsible for your child(ren). Some Courts utilize days while others utilize hours. For those Courts utilizing days and you have a schedule such as every other weekend, then your time would be 4 out of 30 days per month (or 13%). However, if the Court utilizes an hours calculation, there are approximately 8,736 hours in a given calendar year.
If you had the same an alternate weekend schedule, then it would be relevant whether you picked up the children at 3:00 p.m. from school and dropped them off on Sundays at 6:00 p.m. If this was your schedule, your time would be 15% (1,326 [alternate weekend hours]/ 8,736 [hours in a year].
Some common parenting plans and their associate timeshare/parenting plans are:
- Alternate weekends (Fri to Sun) & mid-week dinner visit: 18%
- Alternate extended weekends (Fri-Mon) & mid-week dinner visit: 22%
- Alternate extended weekends and a mid-week overnight: 30%
Another important factor that can quickly add up timeshare/parenting time is the holiday schedule. By adding a two week summer vacation schedule, you are adding an additional 4%. If you also include ½ of the Winter and Spring Break, you have effectively added 3% to your parenting time.
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