Child support is calculated based off of the state of California’s standardized child support guideline calculator. The calculator determines child support using several pieces of information but it mainly takes into consideration the income of the two parents and the residential time division between them.

Since child support relies so heavily on parental income, there are a lot of details to consider when determining what your income is for child support purposes.

Your income is not exactly what you take home at the end of the day. There are several standard deductions you can make to arrive at an appropriate net income, off of which your child support can be accurately calculated.

However, it is important to note that not all deductions used on income taxes may be used for child support purposes so don’t just go off of your latest tax filing to determine what your income is. Income will be determined by taking your gross earnings and deducting any qualifying expenses.

Remember, if you are receiving temporary child support and are now doing your final calculations for a final child support order, the temporary child support itself is not considered taxable income, so you do not add this to your income when determining child support. However, when calculating child support through California’s guideline calculator, information about all dependents and any child support paid or received will be required.

After your total earnings are calculated, the calculator will allow you to list a number of deductions. Many, but not all, of the standard qualifying income tax deductions, can be applied here. Property tax, mortgage insurance, mandatory union dues, health insurance, some retirement contributions, usually those that are mandatory, some medical expenses and some job-related costs considered necessary all can be deducted from your income for child support purposes.

Some support paid can also be deducted. Spousal support already being paid pursuant to a court order, child support paid for a child outside of the current relationship and spousal support paid to an outside relationship can be deducted. Check with the California Department of Child Support Services user guide to the calculator for details on deductible expenses.

Are you in the Los Angeles area and have questions about determining your income for child support purposes? If you are approaching the child support process, Family Law Specialist Mark H. Karney can provide extensive experience handling complex divorce cases to ensure you end up with a support order that looks out for your best interests now and in the future.

Serving Los Angeles County, attorney Mark H. Karney can provide expert counsel for all your family law needs. Call our office at 310-622-9434; email us at or contact us through our online form today to schedule a free consultation.