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Child Support Basics

Do you know a lot about laws for child support in Georgia? Are you a parent currently fighting a child custody case? Under a custody case, you will also have to deal with child support payments. Each state has different guidelines that set the rules for a case. Most states set rates based on different criteria, such as the number of children and family income.

Georgia Child Support Guidelines can help us determine the monthly amount for child support in Georgia. When you need help with such cases, our child support attorneys in Georgia can help you understand the complexities of the system and guide you through the process.

Key Assertions in Georgia's Child Support Guidelines

Seven main assertions are used in child support cases. These assertions are based on certain basic premises. The premises are listed below:

  1. The Guidelines for Child Support Apply to All Children: Child support is ordered by the judge regardless of whether the parents were unmarried or married when the child was born or conceived. All children are covered under the Guidelines given by the State; both legally adopted children and natural offspring are covered.
  2. Child Support Amounts Are Priority Financial Obligations: Any other payments and obligations, even when the parent gets debt relief under the U.S. Bankruptcy Court, are non-dischargeable. Generally, unrelated debts of the parents do not result in a deviation from the amount set by the Guidelines.
  3. Spousal Maintenance and Child Support Are Separate: The court determines the amount and duration of spousal maintenance before establishing the child support amount and obligation.
  4. Every Parent Is under Legal Obligation to Support the Adopted or Natural Child: On the other hand, financial support for step-children is voluntary.
  5. The Custodial Parent Sometimes Pays Child Support: There isn't any absolute law requiring only the noncustodial parent to pay the amount for child support. There can be some circumstances that require the parent who the child stays with most of the time to pay the child support amount.
  6. Child Support Is Calculated Monthly: Adjustments for seasonal work schedules or fluctuating incomes are analyzed to derive a set monthly amount. Parents have to plan and prepare over the course of a year for consistent monthly payments.
  7. Child Support Amounts Are Not Unlimited: The Basic Child Support Obligation (BCSO) has been capped at an adjusted gross income (of both parents combined) at $20,000 monthly. The BCSO is capped at the sixth child for parents with more than six children. Parents can agree on a larger amount of child support than in the Guidelines if they want, though.

Calculating Amounts for Child Support in Georgia

How Much Child Support Should Be Paid?

The total amount for child support in Georgia is calculated based on approximates of what the parents would be spending on the child if they were still living as a family. Each parent is obligated to contribute a proportion of their income under the shared income model. Generally, the parent without custody is obligated to pay a certain percentage of their monthly income to the parent with custody. There are certain factors that determine this amount.

Factors for Child Support in Georgia

The child support attorney in Georgia will help you calculate the amount that is to be paid based on many factors: necessary expenses of the child, gross income of parents, day-care costs, medical expenses, and the number of children that live in the home.

The Guidelines have set forth the following factors that are used to establish or modify child support:

  1. The financial needs and resources of the child
  2. The financial needs and resources of the parent
  3. The standard of living that would have been enjoyed by the child if they lived in an intact home with both parents, depending on the economic feasibility considering each parent's resources and needs
  4. The emotional and physical condition of the child as well as education needs
  5. The financial needs and resources of the noncustodial parent
  6. A medical support plan that includes the availability of medical services and insurance provided by Georgia's healthcare cost containment system, the child's medical needs, and whether cash medical support is essential
  7. Abnormal or excessive expenditures, fraudulent disposition or concealment of community, destruction, joint tenancy, or other properties held together
  8. The related expenses and parenting time duration

Child Support Calculations and Gross Income Amounts

The respective income of the parents is critical for determining the amount of child support in Georgia.  Parents need to include investments, interest in stock options, retirement amounts, bank accounts, and anything else that generations some form of income in their gross income statement. Thus, gross income is more than just wages since it includes any and all possible sources of income.

Parents can get confused as to what they should include in the statement to calculate the amount for child support. For example, if you own stock options that include an option to purchase a certain amount of shares in the future, but at a price set in the present. These stocks may be given to a salaried executive as a benefit or bonus. Any income from these stocks, whether recurring or continuing, needs to be listed.

Your child support attorney in Georgia can help you form the statement. They can address all of your concerns, according to the Guidelines set by the state, since they can be interpreted differently. Since there are a lot of things that can constitute gross income, it is better to hire professional lawyers for child support in Georgia.

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