2023 Child Support Updates in Georgia
While divorce can be a messy process, your attorneys and legal counsel are there to guide you through the process. Divorce is even more complicated when children are involved. Obviously, what is best for the child(ren) can be open to interpretation, and biases from the mother’s and father’s standpoints can often hinder judgment.
Georgia Child Support Laws
Under Georgia state law, both parents have a legal obligation to support their child(ren). Typically, the non-custodial parent is the one who is required to pay child support to the custodial parent to assist in covering the child(ren)’s living expenses. In some cases, however, both parents may be required to pay child support if they share custody or if their incomes differ significantly.
With child support, the basic needs of the child or children, such as food, shelter, and clothing should be met; additionally, some circumstances may warrant medical care, education, and, even extracurricular activities to be factored in as well under child support. Those are the basics, however, in recent years, support has grown for shared custody.
What is House Bill 96?
Since the introduction of House Bill 96 back in 2019, child support and child custody have both been hot topics in the state of Georgia. With the rise of the COVID epidemic, however, this bill died in the House. Talks, however, remained, and there is currently bipartisan support. Atlanta state representative Jasmine Clark, who first introduced the bill in 2019 did so to “level the playing field for fathers.”
As the law reads now, Georgia law presumes that the mother should keep custody of the child(ren) unless a judge finds reason to rule against her. Thus, the mother typically becomes the custodial parent unless a case can be substantiated to rule against that fact, leaving the father to pay child support. If House Bill 96 passes, it would mandate 50/50 custody if a judge decides that joint custody would be in the best interest of the child(ren).
House Bill 96 would also create a “legal presumption that equal, shared parenting is in the child’s best interests,” until, of course, there was evidence to prove it was not in any particular case. In addition, the bill, if passed, would require that the judge presiding over the case substantiate or explain why shared parenting is NOT in the child’s best interest in their order. Furthermore, this bill would give the judge more discretion on the age at which to consider the child(ren)’s own desires and wishes.
Custody & Child Support in Georgia
This current custody and child support topic is one of hot debate, but Georgia isn’t alone. Kentucky has already passed a shared parenting bill and Rep. Clark has stated that data from that substantiates a reduction in domestic violence cases as well as increased compliance with child support.
As divorce attorneys, it is our job to stay on top of the latest updates to custody laws, child support, and more, so that we know the best recommendations to give our clients. You can check out resources at https://childsupport.georgia.gov If you’re facing issues with child support payment or other custodial issues, give us a call.
Call Philips & Sellers Attorneys At Law to Learn More
Will 2023 be the year that “levels the playing field for fathers”? Only time will tell. Until then, you can count on Phillips-Sellers Law Firm and our team of dedicated professionals to support you in your fight for custody, child support, and more as you navigate the court system and fight for your child(ren).
Contact us for more information about child support changes and updates in Georgia.
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