Atlanta Child Support Attorneys
Experienced Child Support Lawyers Serving Families in Fulton County, Georgia
In Georgia, both parents are obligated to provide for the support of a child until the child reaches the age of 18, or graduates from high school, whichever is later, but no later than age 20. There is no obligation to support a child in college or post graduate studies. However, our Atlanta child support attorneys generally recommend trying to get an agreement concerning college expenses; if the parties agree to in settlement negotiations, and include in the Final Decree of Divorce, will be enforced by the courts as if it were law.
Most people facing the prospect of a divorce with children involved wonder:
- How am I going to support my children?
- How am I going to pay for my child’s medical expenses?
- How am I going to pay for my child’s education?
Determining Child Support in Georgia
When calculating child support in Georgia, the court system considers several key factors to ensure that the child's financial needs are met adequately. These factors are crucial in determining a fair and reasonable child support amount:
Income of Both Parents: The court evaluates the gross income of both parents, which includes wages, salaries, bonuses, commissions, and other sources of income. This forms the foundation for calculating child support.
Child Custody Arrangement: The court looks at the custody arrangement, considering which parent has primary custody and the amount of time the child spends with each parent. The custodial arrangement influences the child support calculation.
Child's Basic Needs: The court takes into account the child's basic needs, including shelter, food, clothing, and education. The child's standard of living before the divorce or separation is also considered.
Healthcare and Childcare Expenses: The cost of health insurance premiums and any work-related childcare expenses are factored into the child support calculation.
Other Child Support Obligations: If a parent has other child support obligations from a previous relationship, this is considered as it impacts the available income for the current child support determination.
Extraordinary Expenses: Extraordinary expenses such as medical bills, educational expenses, special needs, or extracurricular activities may be factored in addition to the basic child support amount.
Deviation Factors: The court may consider other factors that could justify a deviation from the standard child support guidelines, like the child's educational needs or the financial status of each parent.
Understanding these factors is essential for parents involved in child support proceedings in Georgia. Consulting with an Atlanta child support attorney from KF Law, LLC provides valuable insights and assistance in navigating the child support calculation, ensuring the child's best interests are prioritized.
Calculating Child Support in Georgia
The total monthly income of the two parents is applied to the schedule of the basic child support obligation table. You can see the table, as well as the Child Support Worksheet, by clicking here: Child Support Calculator.
The share of this obligation for each parent is determined by prorating the number on this table according to the percentage of each parent’s income to the total income.
The application of these guidelines creates a presumption that the amount of child support is correct. However, courts may use their discretion to award a child support amount that is different from what is determined by the Child Support Calculator.
In such cases, the court must make specific findings on the record that there is sufficient reason to vary from these guidelines. With any questions be sure to contact our Atlanta child support attorneys.
Factors for Adjustment of the Child Support Guidelines
Some of the statutory factors which the court may consider in making a determination to adjust the guidelines include things like:
- Pre-existing child support orders for other children
- The cost of health insurance and work-related child care
- Self- employment taxes
- Social security benefits paid for children
- Parenting time exercised by the non-custodial parent
- Extraordinary medical costs
- Extraordinary Educational costs
- One party’s other support obligations to another household
- Income that should be imputed to a party because of suppression of income
- In-kind income for the self-employed, such as reimbursed meals or a company car
- Other support a party is providing or will be providing, such as payment of a mortgage
- A party’s own extraordinary needs, such as medical expenses
- In-kind contribution of either parent
- Extraordinary travel expenses to exercise visitation or shared physical custody