Until January 1, 2007, Georgia calculated child support based solely on the income of the non-custodial parent. Support was set within a percentage range depending on the number of children subject to the order.
Georgia child support law changed on January 1, 2007, and many factors, other than the gross income of the non-custodial parent, became relevant. The current guidelines require that the total gross income of both parties be considered. In determining the total gross income, the courts must consider income from all sources before any tax deductions.
This includes, but is not limited to, income from employers (salary), bonuses, commissions, income from self-employment, income from rental properties, severance income, income from annuities, capital gains income, unemployment, and social security income.
When the total income for both parents is entered on the Georgia child support worksheet and the number of children for whom support is being calculated is entered, a presumptive child support amount appears. This presumptive amount is the total that it should cost each month for the care and maintenance of the minor child(ren). Based on the incomes of the parties and their individual percentage of the total parental income, the obligations of each parent are calculated.
Additional Georgia Child Support Calculation Factors
The calculation, however, may not necessarily end there. There are a number of other factors that may be present in the Georgia child support calculation worksheet. Those factors include but are not limited to health insurance, child care, extracurricular, and educational expenses. All of those expenses may be eligible for entry on the child support worksheet, which may result in a higher child support obligation for the non-custodial parent.
Deviations from Georgia Child Support Guidelines
The new Georgia child support guidelines also allow for deviations of the support, some specified and others unspecified, that might be awarded or agreed upon by the parties. One of the most common deviations is a parenting time deviation.
This type of deviation occurs when the non-custodial parent has parenting time in an amount significantly above the normal percentage with standard visitation. For example, if the parties share custody equally, then the paying parent would likely be entitled to a parenting time deviation such that (s)he is keeping a portion of the presumptive amount in order to support and sustain the child while (s)he is in that parent’s custody.
At the end of the day, the court will typically not enter any deviations to a child support worksheet unless the deviation is determined to be in the minor child(ren)’s best interests.
We understand child support at Crystal Wright Law. Attorney Crystal Wright will guide you through the legal processes of establishing, modifying, or appealing child support payments. Contact us today!
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