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How is Child Support Determined in Georgia?

Macon GA Child Support Lawyer

The child support in Georgia was previously calculated as a percentage of the non custodial parent’s annual income. In 2007, child support guidelines as stated in the statute – O.C.G.A 19-6-15 have been changed and these changes directly affect the sanction of modifications to original child support order.

 

Child support in Georgia is currently calculated from the combined income of both parents. The father’s and mother’s income are both taken into consideration while calculating the ratio which determines each contributor’s obligation towards child support. The shared income formula is very commonly used throughout the nation and emphasizes that both parents should share equal responsibility in providing for their child’s needs.

 

Shared Income Formula

 

Arriving at a ratio to determine contributions from both of the parents is not an easy task. The process has several steps and the calculation has to be performed meticulously to reach correct figures. The steps are:

 

• Gross income of both parents has to be calculated.
• From the gross income, adjusted income of both parents has to be determined.
• Parents’ adjusted total income is added to get the combined adjusted income.
• Basic Child Support Obligation amount is calculated using the Child Support Obligation Table. The combined adjusted income and number of children to be supported are plotted in the table which gives rise to corresponding amount in dollars.
• Each parent’s share towards child support is calculated. This pro rata share is the amount payable by respective parent towards child support.

 

Presumptive Child Support Amount

 

The court can allow adjustments to non-custodial parent’s contribution towards child support costs in Georgia on the basis of work-related costs, parenting time and health insurance premiums. Thus for a child who spends equal time with both parents, non-custodial parent’s contribution amount can be decreased due to parenting time. The presumptive child support amount is the sum of money a non custodial parent pays towards child support and this amount is reached after taking into consideration all adjustments that would be made.

 

There are situations wherein presumptive amount is altered. These situations include:

 

• Abnormally high education expenses
• Abnormally high medical expenses
• Low income of custodial parent
• High income of custodial parent
• Alimony paid or received by custodial parent
• Pre-existing mortgage payments
• Special circumstances such as vacation expenses.

 

Sometime the court can bypass all the considerations and calculations to rule in the best interests of the child. This means that the court can increase or decrease the child support amount generated by the shared income formula if the ruling would be beneficial to the concerned child.

 

If you are facing a child support dispute or child support modification in Macon Georgia, then contact an experienced Macon family law attorney today.