Monday, March 12, 2012

Child Support in Georgia

Georgia has child support guidelines to determine the amount of child support to be paid.   The guidelines are extremely complicated and include many factors, which a good attorney can help advocate for you.  The first factor is the amount of gross income each parent earns.   Typically this includes overtime income.  If a spouse does not work, the Court can impute income to that spouse.  A court can also impute income to someone who has the ability to earn more money.   The income of a self employed person can be hard to prove, as a self employed person may deduct (legitimately and otherwise) many expenses which lower their gross income.

Once the gross income is determined, then a determination is made regarding the relative income of each parent as a unit.  For example, if each parent earns $3,000.00 a month, then the family income would be $6,000.00 and each parent would earn 50 percent of the income.  If one parent earned $4,000.00 a month and the other parent earned $2,000.00 a month, the family would still have a gross income of $6,000.00, but the first parent would earn 66 percent of the income and the other parent 33 percent.

This is important as a support obligation is determined according to this ratio.   A family with two (2) children that earns $6,000.00 would be determined to spend $1,384.00 in caring for this children.  The parent earning $4,000.00 would be presumed to pay 66 percent of this, or $922.71, and would pay 66 66 percent of medical insurance and 66 percent of daycare costs.

There are many other factors the Court uses in determining child support.   Having a good lawyer to help you with this issue can make sure a fair amount of child support is determined.

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