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Mandatory Retirement

Mandatory Retirement is set forth in California Family Code section 4059(c) which states that “Deductions for mandatory union dues and retirement benefits, provided that they are required as a condition of employment.”

Mandatory retirement, to be treated as a child support consideration, must be mandatory. If you are able to discontinue the withdrawals, then it is not mandatory and you will not receive credit. Typical examples of mandatory retirement accounts are CalSTRs and PERS for parents that are either teachers, law enforcement or other types of government employment. Employer sponsored 401ks are not mandatory as you have the option to either participate or not. Mandatory retirement deductions decrease your gross income which has the same effect as both union dues and health care. However, parents who have mandatory retirement taken out of their monthly wage typically do not have deductions for either Social Security or FICA (Federal Insurance Contribution Act). This requires a change in the Dissomaster or X-Spouse settings to account for not having these deductions.

Union Dues

California Family Code section 4059(c) states that “Deductions for mandatory union dues and retirement benefits, provided that they are required as a condition of employment.” If a party is a member of a union, they will likely be paying union dues. The typical tradeoff for paying such dues is possibly free to low cost insurance and other union benefits. Union dues are like health insurance in that the amount of money paid monthly for union dues is deducted from your gross income. Again like health insurance, this calculation occurs behind the scenes (rather than inserting a lower income in the income field of the support calculator). Union dues also may fluctuate from month to month or the union dues may be front loaded towards the beginning of the year so it is imperative to review/request what the parent paying these dues paid for an entire year in the past to confirm that the correct amount of union dues is being credited to that parent.

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