How is child support calculated in a Georgia divorce case?

Calculating child support in Georgia requires careful consideration of several factors, including both parents gross income.

When a couple decides to file for divorce in Georgia or anywhere across the country, they continue to have emotional and financial obligations to their children. Whether one parent has sole custody of the children or both parents share custody, it is important to ease the difficult transition that children must make when their parents separate. Child support offers a way to minimize the financial hardships that often occur when people terminate their marriage. This financial support can help to maximize a child's quality of life.

Income shares model

Georgia uses the income shares model to calculate the amount of child support the non-custodial parent is required to pay, as reported by the National Conference of State Legislatures. This model operates on the principle that children should receive the same level of financial support that they would have gotten if their parents had remained married. It bases the child support amount on the gross income earned by both parents, as opposed to only the non-custodial parent's income.

Calculating child support

According to Georgia statutes, the first step in determining child support is to calculate the monthly gross income of each parent. Deductions, such as preexisting child support obligations and certain taxes, are taken from the amounts. Once the totals are added together, the child support obligation table is used to determine how much is owed. Each parent's income is then used in a formula to determine what percentage of the total child support amount will be designated to the custodial and non-custodial parent. In addition, childcare costs, education and medical insurance expenses are factored into the monthly child support obligation.

Child support calculation considerations

In order to calculate child support, the judge presiding over the case may consider the following factors:

  • How much time the child spends with each parent
  • Travel time and expenses
  • Whether alimony was awarded in the case
  • Whether the child has a medical condition or disability that contributes to extraordinary healthcare expenses

Since every divorce case is unique, the judge may take into account any other specific circumstances that play a role in the child's general well being.

Answering your questions

Going through a divorce may be one of the most stressful events that you ever have to face. It can be hard to make important decisions during such an emotional time. A family law attorney in Georgia may be able to walk you through the somewhat overwhelming divorce process and answer any questions you may have regarding your specific case.