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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