There are specific ways to calculate child support in Georgia. The Georgia child support calculation was revised in 2007, and the state moved to the “Income Shares Model” for calculation of child support. The Georgia legislative branch created a worksheet for determining child support.
Current guidelines do require that the total gross income of both parties must be considered. In order to determine the total gross income, the courts must consider all income from any and all sources before tax deductions.
Determine Custodial Roles
The first step is deciding which parent will be the “custodial” parent and which is the “noncustodial” parent. Typically, the custodial parent has the children more than half the time and the noncustodial parent has the children less than half the time.
Occasionally the parenting time is equal and you may not be able to determine which parent is custodial and which is noncustodial. In this circumstance, the noncustodial parent will be the parent with the higher child support obligation, usually, although not always, the parent who starts out with the higher income.
Add It Up
In order to complete financial calculations, add up each parent’s monthly gross income, which includes most types of income, whether earned or unearned. Some examples are wages, self-employment earnings, commissions, retirement account payments, disability payments, and investment income.
As stated before, the courts will consider income from all sources before any tax deductions to determine the total gross income. This includes, but is not limited to, commissions, capital gains income, income from annuities, salary, bonuses, income from rental properties, income from self-employment, social security income, severance income and unemployment.
When the total income for both parents is entered on the child support worksheet and the number of children for whom support is being calculated is entered, a presumptive child support amount will appear. This presumptive amount is the total amount (as determined by the Georgia legislatures) that it should cost each month for the care and maintenance of the minor children.
There are deviations that occur from the child support guidelines. Typically, the court will not enter any deviations to a child support worksheet unless the deviation is determined to be in the minor children’s best interests.
There are other factors that go into the calculation of child support. There are many other factors that may be present in the child support worksheet. Such a factor is the amount one parent will pay for the childcare of the minor children.
Some factors that might be included in determining child support are the payment of extraordinary educational expenses, medical, dental, child care, health and vision insurance premiums. Extracurricular activities could be a factor depending on the monthly amount paid.
Your State Matters
We are focusing on Georgia guidelines. Each state does have its own child support guidelines that will provide an estimated amount of your monthly child support, so be sure to obtain the proper worksheets for your state. The court does have the final authority to determine the amount of child support awarded.
In Georgia, child support typically ends when the child turns 18 unless the child is still attending high school full-time. In such a case it continues until the child turns 20 or graduates from high school, whichever happens first.
Charlton & Glover can help estimate your calculated child support. Our experienced child support lawyers make it their goal to come to an accurate and fair agreement that aims to protect your family’s financial future. Contact us today for an initial consultation!