Watch this video to learn about calculating child support in Georgia. Then call Hall & Navarro for a legal consultation and case evaluation.
What does the court consider for child support?
The other day I was talking to a new consultation, and they wanted to know how child support is set in Georgia. Luckily for us, as attorneys, Georgia law outlines specifically what factors may be considered. It’s a long list of things, the biggest of which is your gross income – that means what you’re paid before you bring home the money and before taxes and retirement contributions. It really is the large number at the top of your pay stub. Oftentimes, clients are not happy with that scenario because you feel that what you’re putting in your pocket is all that you can afford to pay out. Unfortunately, Georgia does not consider retirement contributions or any of your other charitable giving to come off of the child support number. It’s calculated with your gross income, it considers the other party’s gross income to level things out, and then it’s going to give us our presumptive child support number.
There’s a calculator that’s released by Georgia law. We use that calculator in every initial consultation. If you know your other party’s or your spouse’s income, that helps with us giving you a better accurate description of what your child support obligation may be, but then we look at other special factors that the law can consider, such as if you have health insurance on your children. That’s a big factor. You’re going to get not a dollar-for-dollar reduction in your child support obligation, but you are going to get some reduction. You can also see reductions for daycare expenses that you may cover – that’s a big one – and also any extraordinary expenses that maybe come up. If your child has special needs, special medical needs that have to be addressed, and you cover all those expenses, that may factor into your child support. Those types of things are a little less prominent here. Most of the time, people have daycare or health insurance premiums and their income, and that’s really the only three factors the court considers.
At the end, when you get your presumptive amount of child support based on those factors, the judge can do an upward or downward deviation if for any reason the child support is determined not to be in the best interest of your child, such as if you have a spouse who maybe makes a lot of money. The child support calculator is capped at a certain amount, but the court may decide that the child support should be increased because of their extremely high income, or the court may consider the child’s involvement in special extracurricular activities or other things that maybe are not so common around every child in Georgia.
The child support obligation can always be adjusted at the very end at trial, and we would help look at those facts and circumstances of your case to determine whether the judge would go with the presumptive amount or whether there may be an upward or downward deviation. If you have any questions about a current or past child support obligation that maybe you want to be recalculated, or if you’re going through a divorce case and you want us to tell you whether the child support is going to be something you can handle or not, please give us a call. Come in for a meeting and we’ll look and see, with your financial circumstances, what your obligation may be.
Are you or a loved one in the process of a divorce in Statesboro, Springfield, or Swainsboro and have questions about calculating child support in Georgia? Contact the experienced Georgia divorce attorneys at Hall & Navarro today for a consultation and case evaluation. We can help get your life back on track.