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Money

How to Read Your DissoMaster Report & Ensure Your Deductions Apply

What Is a DissoMaster Report?

DissoMaster software is used by family law professionals in California to calculate child support and spousal support payments in divorce cases. The Superior Court of California has relied on DissoMaster in divorce cases for more than two decades. It is one of several computer programs certified by the California Judicial Council used to calculate family support obligations.

Parts of Your DissoMaster Report

California courts print out DissoMaster reports for family support obligations. A DissoMaster report will typically have three columns of information on a page.

The first column is further subdivided into three more columns with the following labels:

  • Input Data: This column describes the category to which the values of the other two subcolumns apply. These categories relate to income information as divided into monthly amounts.
  • Father: This column appears to the right of the input data column. It contains values for the input data category as they apply to the father.
  • Mother: This column appears to the right of the father column. It contains values for the input data category as applied to the mother.

The second column shows you the guideline support figures calculated from the income information of the first column. This column is subdivided into three subsections:

  • Nets (adjusted): This section relates to the adjusted net income for each party individually and the total income for both parties.
  • Support: This section shows you the child support amounts the payor spouse is obligated to pay. The figure is broken down into different items, but the line that says “total” is the figure the supporting spouse should worry about. This figure is calculated based on California statutory guidelines.
  • Proposed tactic [number]: This is an alternative method of calculating support based on the settings used in the DissoMaster program. The total proposed amount of the support obligation may differ from the amount of guideline support.

Applicable Deductions

In the input data subcolumn of the first column, you can find lines that relate to deductions toward the bottom. Similar to how deductions work when filing your income tax return, these figures are important as they can reduce your support obligation to an amount that is easier to pay.

If applicable, it is important for you to check if the relevant deductions were applied to calculate your support obligation, including:

  • Health Insurance: This amount includes health insurance premiums and other costs and is deductible from your income.
  • Itemized Deductions: These costs can help bring your support obligation down if they apply. In particular, costs for property taxes and deductible interest expenses should be included and deducted from your income for purposes of calculating guideline support in California.
  • Required Union Dues: Union dues may be deducted from your income to lower your support obligations.
  • Mandatory Retirement: Contributions to a government retirement plan are deductible from your income for purposes of calculating support. Government employees are typically required to make large contributions to these plans, so deducting those contributions can really help make your support obligation reflect your financial reality more accurately.

Quality Legal Advice for Orange County Families

Do you need a tenacious advocate you can count on to effectively advocate for you and your family’s best interests? If so, you should get in touch with a skilled attorney at Moshtael Family Law. Our legal team is committed to serving families in Orange County and throughout the Southern California area. We provide personalized legal representation that focuses on the unique circumstances of your case to help preserve your legal rights.

For more information about how Moshtael Family Law can assist you, call our office at (714) 909-2561 or visit us online to set up an initial consultation today.

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