In California, a commercial software program known as “DissoMaster”
is used by family law specialists to determine the amount of child support
one parent must pay to the other.
It is based on the California Family Code which states that child support
is to be paid based on a parent’s circumstances and stations in
life. The program has been in existence for over 20 years with continuous
updates based on changes in the code.
The code lists numerous principles (or guidelines) regarding child support
The mutual responsibility of both parents to support their children;
The income of each parent and level of responsibility for their children;
The ability of each parent to pay child support;
The notion that children share in the standard of living of both parents; and that
The guidelines are presumed correct and can only be bypassed in special
The Family Code also created a mathematical formula in determining child support:
CS = [K(HN – (H%)(TN)]
CS means child support
K means the amount of funds allocated for child support
HN means the net disposable monthly income of the higher earner
H% means the approximate amount of time the HN spends with the child(ren)
compared to the other parent
TN means the total net monthly income of both parents.
The mathematical formula further differentiates between whether there is
only child and any other subsequent children’s child support. The
computer software takes this factor into account as well. For instance,
if there are two children, the amount of child support owed would be CS
times 1.6. For example, if the CS (child support) would be $1,000 for
one child, but there were two children, the formula would be $1,000 times
1.6 or $1600.00 for both children.
The program requests the inputting of certain information, including the
income of both parents, the amount of time each parent spends with the
children, who pays the children’s medical insurance premiums, and
many other factors based on the family law code to determine CS (child
support). After all the information requested is inputted, the program
determines the amount of child support one parent has to pay to the other parent.