California Child Support Calculator

Child support calculator

Simple Child Support Calculator

For a simple and easy calculation of child support in California, we suggest trying the Custody X Change calculator. California appears to lack an official, government calculator that is easy to use.

The Custody X Change calculator is quite simple and easy to use. But note that the estimator may not always be accurate and up to date for 2024. For a more reliable assessment, you can try the official version.

In the state of California, the result of an online calculation should be interpreted carefully. You should treat the estimate as just a preliminary indication of the child support amount you could receive or be required to pay.

Parenting Time Calculator for California

According to California child support guidelines, payment amounts depend on how much time a child spends with the non-custodial parent.

Use this calculator to work out how much care the non-custodial parent provides. Remember to add in all fractions of days when the non-custodial parent has parenting time.

Calculate parenting time %

Regular days
Vacation days each year*
183 days per year.
50.0% of parenting time.

* Vacation days are all days when the regular schedule does not apply.

How Child Support is Calculated in California


Child support payments in California are calculated using the income shares method. Payments depend on the combined incomes of the parents as well as the number of children. A larger combined income or more children usually means greater payments.

The amount paid or received by an individual parent also depends on income and parenting time percentages.

  • If your income percentage (your share of combined income) is higher than your care percentage (share of parenting time), you are probably the payer.
  • The receiver is normally the parent with a care percentage above their income percentage.

Californians paying the most child support have high incomes and rarely look after their children. On the flipside, the biggest receivers are parents who (a) work little (b) have their kids nearly all the time and (c) have a high earner as the other parent.

In California, the amount of time you spend with your child is called the “custodial timeshare” or “custodial percentage timeshare”. This has a direct impact on the amount of child support you pay or receive. California Child Support Services has a visitation timeshare chart that does the math for you. Around 40 timeshare arrangements are listed.

In California, a guideline formula is used to calculate child support, according to a legislatively prescribed mathematical formula. One of the most common programs used to do this is the DissoMaster. The program combines parties earnings, taking out money for taxes, adding back money for deductions (and some other adjustments), and then allocates what remains between the parties based on how much time each spends with the children.

Tanya Prioste

Californian child support guidelines apply to the whole state, including the cities of Los Angeles, San Diego, San Jose, San Francisco, Fresno and Sacramento. Variations in support payments may be made by the agreement of parents or at the discretion of a judge presiding over your case.

Payment Calculators by State

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