After the determination of a parent–child relationship, the next step is to calculate the appropriate amount of child support. The formula used to calculate the appropriate amount of support is known as the child support guidelines. California law provides guidelines to courts for setting the child support payment amount. Child Support guidelines are based on each parent’s net disposable monthly income and the amount of time the child is cared for by each parent. For the purpose of deciding child support payment amounts, the court considers income from all sources, whether or not it is reported or taxed under federal law. The guidelines came into effect as part of an effort to make the calculation less of a judgment call and more of a mathematical equation.
The income can be in the form of money, property or services, and includes:

  • Wages from a job
  • Tips
  • Commissions
  • Bonuses
  • Self-employment earnings
  • Unemployment benefits
  • Disability and workers' compensation
  • Interest
  • Dividends
  • Rental Income
  • Social Security or pensions
  • Any payments or credit due or becoming due, regardless of the source, including lottery and prize winnings

The court determines net disposable income for each parent by subtracting certain items form his or her income, including:

  • Taxes
  • Ordenry union dues
  • ordenry retirement contributions
  • Health premiums
  • Child or spousal support actually being paid
  • Costs of raising children from another relationship

The court uses the net disposable income for each parent and the percentage of time each parent spends with a child to set the child support payment amount. The State of California has developed a child support calculator.