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A parent’s support obligation must be based on the parent’s net disposable income, and therefore Family Code §4059 provides a list of enumerated mandatory deductions from gross income that a court must apply.

Those deductions include:

  • State and Federal income taxes

  • FICA deductions

  • Employer-mandated union dues and retirement withholdings

  • Health and disability insurance premiums for the parent and any child for whom the parent has an obligation to support

  • Job-related expenses

  • Spousal support paid to a former spouse

  • Child support paid for a child of another relationship

Further, the Court has discretion to reduce an obligor’s gross income by what is referred to as the “hardship deduction.” (Family Code §§4070-4073). Hardship deductions are within the discretion of the court, and are approved for extraordinary health expenses, uninsured catastrophic losses, and the basic living expenses of any children the parent has an obligation to support and who reside with the payor parent. (Family Code §4071; see also Marriage of Paulin (1996) 46 Cal.App.4th 1378 [noting that applying the hardship deduction after the birth of a second and third child is “not automatic” but nonetheless affirming a trial court order doing so].)

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