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Child support basics in Georgia


When people in Georgia have children together, they soon realize that making sure that the children are fed, clothed, have a roof over their head and other costs add up quickly. The parents need to figure out how they are going to pay for the various things the child needs. Both parents contribute in some way though. This could be through both having jobs or one parent providing care for the child, while the other works. However, figuring out how to contribute to these costs becomes trickier when the couple is no longer together.

This is generally accomplished through a child support order. It is generally paid from the non-custodial parent to the custodial parent, or the parent with the majority of the parenting time. The amount of the child support depends on a number of different factors though.

The main part of the child support calculation is based on the incomes of the respective parties. This can be many different forms of income, anything earned by the parent. In addition, if one parent is deemed underemployed or hiding their true income, the courts can impute income to that parent based on work history and qualifications, among other factors.

Then, there may be certain adjustments if a parent is paying child support for a non-joint child or has a non-joint child living in their home. And, any health care premiums are taken into account, and the parents would have to share in the costs of those premiums. To determine the child support obligation, all these numbers and adjustments are put into the child support calculator, which determines the amount of child support, based on the statutory guidelines.

Many parents in Georgia are no longer together and may need to seek child support or currently pay child support. It may seem as simple as putting numbers in a calculator, but it can be much more complicated. Experienced attorneys understand these complications and may be able to guide one through it.

Source: GeorgiaCourts.gov, "Frequently Asked Questions on Georgia's Child Support Guidelines," accessed on May 16, 2017

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