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Guideline Child Support Formula

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Child support in California is determined by a statewide uniform guideline. The formula for calculating child support is:

CS = K [HN - (H%)(TN)]

Each portion of the formula is represented by the following acronyms:

  • CS = child support amount
  • K = amount of both parents' income to be allocated for child support
  • HN = high earner's net monthly disposable income
  • H% = estimated % of time the high earner has/will have more physical responsibility compared to the other parent
  • TN = total net monthly disposable income of both parties

In cases in which parents have different time-sharing arrangements for different children, H% equals the average of the approximate percentages of time the high earner parent spends with each child. K (amount of both parents' income allocated for child support) equals 1 + H% (if H% is less than or equal to 50%) or 2 - H% (if H% is greater than 50%) times the following K fraction:

Income Range



0.20 + TN/16,000




0.10 + 1,000/TN

Over $10,000

0.12 + 800/TN

Some Examples

If H% = 20% and the total monthly net disposable income of the parents is $1,000, K = (1 + 0.20) x 0.25, or 0.30. If H% = 80% and the total monthly net disposable income of the parents is $1,000, K = (2 - 0.80) x 0.25, or 0.30.

Using another example, if the high earner spends 50% of the time with Child 1 (alternate weeks with exchanges on Fridays) and spends 20% of the time with Child 2 (alternate weekends from Friday to Sunday and 2 mid-week dinner visits) then the average time would be 35%.

Multiple Children

For more than one child, multiply CS by the following:

# of Children




















If the amount calculated under the formula results in a positive number, the higher earner shall pay that amount to the lower earner. If the amount calculated under the formula results in a negative number, the lower earner shall pay the absolute value of that amount to the higher earner.

Using the Online Option

Fortunately, the courts in California have acquired software such that these antiquated calculations can be made by merely inputting your data into an input screen. Orange and Los Angeles County utilizes the DissoMaster™ program while San Bernardino and Riverside utilize the Xspouse program.

Let Us Use Our Experience to Support You

If math isn’t your strong suit, let us do the work for you. Our experienced Covina divorce attorney has many years of experience practicing family law. He has been highly rated by Avvo as a Top Attorney and a Top Contributor. Let him use his skills to assist you with your child support case.

Contact us at (626) 788-9864 or fill out our online form to schedule a free case consultation. We look forward to making this process a little easier for you.

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