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Q: How is child support calculated?

A: The simplest explanation is that child support is based on two primary factors: the amount of time each of you spends with the child and the amount of money each of you makes. California uses a statewide formula to calculate how much child support should be paid. The most common program used is called a DissoMaster™ and can be found at most self-help centers. Support calculated by this formula is called “guideline support.” Anything that deviates from the computer-calculated figure is considered “non-guideline support.”

Q: What can child support be spent on?

A: The parent receiving child support has no obligation to account for this money, nor does the parent paying child support have any right to dictate how the money should be spent. Child support does not necessarily include all expenses associated with raising the child. For example, expenses such as childcare or uninsured healthcare costs are equally divided and are not part of guideline child support.

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