“Common Income Deductions in Child Support Calculations”

The State of California uses a financial equation to determine child support that is implemented by a program calls the Dissomaster. This program takes both parties’ financial information and calculates support. The use of the program is mandatory for judges unless they make specific and fairly rare findings of a valid reason to deviate from this guideline. When having your support calculated, it is important to make sure that you have any valid deductions added, as deductions are based on actual amounts of income which you spend on certain items.

The most common items are:

1. Health insurance costs
2. Union dues
3. Mandatory retirement costs
4. Child care costs (often used as an add-on and split by the parties, but which can also be used in the calculation instead)
5. Child or spousal support paid on a different relationship by valid court order
6. Work equipment which is not reimbursed by your employer

If you have any of these items listed on your pay stub, you will be able to calculate a monthly amount of the deduction. It is important to note that only MANDATORY retirement payments are deducted—if you are making voluntary payments into a 401K or an IRA these are not deductible.
Also, when calculating job equipment, you should keep in mind that these are pieces of equipment that you must buy every year that you can only use on the job. For instance, if you have to purchase your own uniforms, or work boots, or other items. Items that can be used for personal use or which are ordinary items, like basic clothing, are not deductible.

It’s also important to note that in order to guarantee the deductibility of child or spousal support, you must have a valid court order for payment. Voluntary or informal payments will not be deducted, generally.

DISCLAIMER: All legal principles quoted are valid as of the date of writing in the State of California. However, you should NEVER base your actions on a legal article, blog, or internet story, as facts in real life are complicated. You should have your case evaluated by an attorney experienced in the area of law needed for your case. In addition, there are often exceptions and potential changes to results that occur due to facts that you may think are trivial or unimportant. This article should not be taken in any way as legal advice on your specific legal matter.

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