CFLR DissoMaster computes child support calculations under the California Statewide Uniform Child Support Guidelines. The software converts gross income to guideline net income through integration of the United States Tax Code. It displays alternate settlements meeting user-specified goals, provides options based on varying tax parameter inputs and calculates bonus income support. Intimate knowledge of the support software is essential to achieve fairness in the outcome. This process may involve consultation with the client’s tax professional.
Department of Child Support Services (“DCSS”)
There is a statewide network of 51 county and regional child support agencies. The services provided include locating a parent; establishing paternity; establishing, modifying and enforcing a court order for child support; and establishing, modifying and enforcing an order for health coverage. DCSS provides its services equally to those receiving or paying support but does not represent one parent or the other. Parents often have private attorneys represent them in DCSS proceedings.
DCSS proceedings are heard by a Superior Court Commissioner on a dedicated calendar. Any stipulated agreements must be approved by DCSS. Familiarity with the local commissioner and local support agency attorneys is valuable when negotiating child support, arrearages, or any other child support related issue through DCSS.
Income Available for Child Support
While the Family Code directs the courts to review tax returns to determine income available for child support, few cases end at the parents’ respective IRS Form 1040’s. Depreciation, personal expense add-backs, and other “smoothing” of a parent’s income is necessary to determine what is available for support of the children.
There are many circumstances related to child support specifically recognized by the legislature and appellate courts such as:
Trial courts are given broad discretion as to how such factors should affect child support. Advice on whether a given rule many apply to a client depends on the individual circumstances of the family, the latest published appellate court opinions and state of the client’s evidence. The experience and expertise of your attorney is very likely to affect the outcome of your financial responsibility.