Child support, in San Diego Superior Court, is determined by one of two separate computer programs. For child support in family law court, the program is called the Disso Master. For child support in the DCSS court, there is a different program which can be found on line. Both programs calculate “guideline child support” which is California State and San Diego County law and the Judges follow these guidelines with certain exceptions. If you believe that the Judge should not follow the guideline child support amount in making the child support order, normally, a motion for deviation must be made. This may need legal authority and these are complicated but can be very significant as shown below.
The child support guideline takes into account many factors, whether the program is the Disso Master or the DCSS calculator, and below are some of the major ones:
-number of children -percentage of time with the non custodial parent on an annualized basis in most instances -tax filing status such as single, married filing separately, married filing jointly with another spouse or with the same spouse; head of household and others -how many federal exemptions are being claimed on federal tax returns -whether there is a payment of child support and/or spousal support for any other children -health insurance costs whether through employment or self pay -mandatory retirement -mandatory union dues for employment -income whether from employment, self employment or from almost any other source including social security and disability and retirement -whether there are mortgage payments which include interest and/or property tax payments for a principle residence
Deviation motions for not following child support guidelines can consist of many different requests and factual situations. These can include hardship requests such as when a parent paying child support also has a legal obligation to support other children or extraordinary medical expenses. These can also include requests for division of travel costs sometimes referred to as “negative add ons” or for costs for visitation.
It is very important to have a careful analysis of the above factors and it can be complicated. While paying for the Disso Master, for individual cases, does not make financial sense the on line DCSS calculator can be used.
Our office has the Disso Master program and this can be very useful in having realistic expectations for child support payments or obligations. As part of your confidential and free consultation, an individual calculation can be made for your case. No attorney can guarantee how any case is going to turn out or what a Judge’s orders will be however a realistic expectation can prove very useful for negotiation purposes and to try and minimize court hearing. Feel free to contact us if your case includes child support in San Diego.