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Overview of Georgia's child support guidelines

Like many other states, Georgia has child support guidelines so that courts can, hopeful, fairly and uniformly order child support so that parents who have to pay, or who will receive, child support feel that they are being treated equally. While not every child support case is exactly the same as another, having a uniform process still, hopefully, increases confidence in the judicial system.

Again like other states, Georgia's guidelines rely on what is basically an "income shares" model, which means the formula involves using the parents' combined income to determine the total amount of child support, and then apportioning the support obligation according to what share of the total income each parent makes.

There are lot of different numbers that could go in to Georgia's child support formula, but perhaps the most important number is the amount of each parent's income. When both parents work salaried jobs, figuring out income is usually just a matter of getting some recent paystubs. Calculating income gets trickier, though, when a parent is self-employed or otherwise does not make a regular or a traditional income.

The guidelines allow parents to deduct certain expenses and take credits in some situations as well. In short, it is important for parents in the Atlanta area to remember that while child support is usually, but not always, determined by a set formula, the numbers that go in to this formula are up for debate and, in many cases, become a hotly contested family law issue. In these sorts of contested situations, a parent may want to speak with an experienced Atlanta family law attorney in order to evaluate their options and understand their rights.

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