How is Child Support Determined in San Diego?

A major issue in any divorce, paternity or legal separation case which involves minor children is child support. While legal custody and physical custody orders may be the most important to parents, financial orders are also crucial.

There are two courts in San Diego Superior Court which make orders for child support: Family Law Court and DCSS Court.While the amount should not be significantly different, there are different programs which are used for each.

In family law court, the program is called the Disso Master. In DCSS court, the program is called the California Guideline Child Support Calculator.The Law Office of Doppelt and Forney, APLC has experience representing parents in both courts in San Diego County and can be reached at 800-769-4748.

In Family Law Court, as above, the Disso Master program is used.The Judge will use this program to determine base child support [both temporary and permanent] as well as for any override income such as bonus on a percentage.The Judge can deviate from the guideline, but this is not common in San Diego Superior Court. A realistic expectation would be that the Judge would order guideline child support.

There are many factors which the Judge will consider.Some have more significance in the child support amount than others.Below is a list but this is not complete or comprehensive:

  • How many children?
  • What is the time share with the custodial and non-custodial parent?
  • What is the tax filing status for each parent and who is taking the child or children as tax deductions?
  • What is the income for each party?
    **This can get more complicated since there are many categories of income such as salary, wages, self-employment, taxable other than listed previously and non-taxable. The Family Law Code is clear that all income, regardless of source, should be considered for child support.
  • Is spousal support being paid from another marriage?
  • Is child support being paid for a child not of the parties?
  • Is there a payment for health, vision or dental insurance for the parties and/or the parties’ children?
  • Do the parties own a home?
  • Are there required union dues?
  • Is there a mandatory retirement?
  • Is there a 401K employee contribution?

DCSS court uses a different program, the California Guideline Child Support Calculator, but many of the factors are the same as the Disso Master. You can access that child support guideline calculator here, free of charge.

Contact the Law Office of Doppelt and Forney, APLC for assistance with child support or most other family law issues such as spousal support and division of assets and debts.Their firm offers a complimentary and confidential consultation for up to one half hour in their office which is conveniently located right off the I-15 with plenty of free parking and an elevator for use as needed. At the consultation, upon your request, the lawyer you are consulting with can run the guideline calculation on the Disso Master as they have the same program the Judge has. By doing this, you can make the most intelligent and informed decision.

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