Aside from custody and visitation of the children, one of the most emotional issues for divorcing or divorced couples can be finances, particularly concerning support for kids. Georgia courts prioritize caring for minor children during divorce, and the court won't typically allow a parent to waive a child's right to receive support.
Determining Child Support
In Georgia, the courts use an “Income Shares Model” to determine the amount of support a parent should pay for a child. The Georgia Child Support Commission website has a calculator you can use to get a general idea of each parent's obligations. However, Georgia support calculations can be complicated and challenging to determine on your own. In calculating support, the courts consider:
- Each parents' income,
- Each parents' custody time,
- Any additional children in each home,
- Any additional support obligations,
- Children's health insurance,
- Work-related childcare expenses,
- Alimony payments, and
- Some business-related deductions, including some self-employment taxes.
Deviating from Child Support Guidelines
The judge can deviate from the child support guidelines in some cases if the calculated support obligation doesn't accurately reflect a parent's ability to pay. Judges may also increase support obligations if a child has unusual medical or educational expenses because of a disability. If the judge approves certain expenses like music or art lessons, the court will usually prorate these expenses based on the parents' support obligations.
In some cases, the court may reduce the child support obligation for a parent if they make below minimum wage or their financial circumstances change. The noncustodial parent may also ask for a downward adjustment if they spend significantly more time with the child than the standard custody arrangement.
Hire a Skilled Georgia Family Law Attorney
Family law issues can be contentious, emotional, and confusing. If you're facing a child support issue or need to renegotiate your own support obligations, you need an experienced family law attorney who thoroughly understands the nuances of Georgia's custody and visitation law. The experienced family law attorneys at The Kirk Law Firm, P.C., can help guide you through the process and help you obtain the best possible outcome. Contact us at 678-208-3366 or online to schedule a confidential consultation.