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What is imputed income in a Georgia divorce?

The policy of the state of Georgia is that children are to be supported by the fruits of their parents' labors. This generally means both parents, whether said parents are living together or otherwise communicating with regard to the children. So, when a court determines that one parent is to have residential custody of the kids, the other parent is usually required to pay child support.

To figure out the amount that a non-custodial parent is to pay, Georgia uses a version of the federal child support guidelines that is meant to determine how much each party makes and assigns a proportion of responsibility for the children based upon the ratio of income with allowances for certain expenses. But what happens if a parent isn't forthcoming with his or her income information?

In most cases, the income of a party in a divorce can be determined relatively easily by looking at the information contained in the pay stubs from that individual's job. However, if a parent isn't working, or is working in a capacity that lends itself to cash payments out of the context of the normal payroll processing regime, it might be difficult to determine income. In such circumstances, Georgia law mandates that a court can impute to an individual a salary equal to a normal minimum wage job for a full-time work week.

While this imputation may, in certain circumstances, be overcome, in most cases Georgia child support guidelines will be completed assuming at least a full-time minimum wage income for both parties absent evidence of actual income. Those seeking the end of a marriage may wish to consider consulting an experienced divorce attorney.

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