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Child Support, Family Law

Child Support in Georgia : Key Points to Know Today!

The difference between an adjustment, an additional expense, and a deviation in Child Support.

Here are eight key points to know about child support in Georgia and how Phillips and Sellers can assist you. First off, an adjustment to each parent’s gross income may be made when calculating the support award as “deductions” from their respective gross income. Adjustments include self-employment taxes, pre-existing child support case orders, and each qualified child. 

Additional expenses for child support costs include health insurance and work-related child care fees that are prorated between the parents. That means the prorated amounts of these expenses are added to each parent’s share of the Basic Child Support Obligation (BSCO). 

A deviation represents an expense related to the children in the case that is subtracted from or added to the presumptive amount of child support. All deviations are subject to judicial discretion and, if applied, must be supported by required findings of fact and by the application of the best interest of the child standard. A non-parent custodian’s expenses may be the basis for a deviation. No deviation can be made which seriously impairs the ability of the custodial parent to maintain minimally adequate housing, food, and clothing for the children being supported in the order and to provide other basic necessities, as determined by the court or the jury. Having a law firm that specializes in family law and Columbus, GA child support is imperative. 

Shared Custody vs. Split Custody 

There can be many variables in a child support case, having an attorney that specializes in family law is a necessity. In a split custody arrangement, one parent has primary physical custody of at least one child of the parties to the case, and the other parent has primary physical custody of one or more children. Split custody is anticipated by the statute, and there is a definition and a specific subsection devoted to it. 

A shared custodial arrangement is usually referred to in a situation in which the parents share physical custody of their children, i.e., each parent would have custody of all of the children approximately fifty percent (50%) of the time. The only reference to shared custody or shared parenting arrangement in the statute is under the definitions of “custodial parent” and “noncustodial parent.”

Special Expenses in Addition to Child Support

Special expenses incurred for child-rearing may be a basis for a deviation from the presumptive amount of Columbus, GA child support. Such expenses include, but are not limited to, summer camp; music or art lessons; travel; school-sponsored extracurricular activities such as band, clubs, and athletics; and other activities intended to enhance the athletic, social, or cultural development of a child. Also, special expenses may include food, clothing, and hygiene for children which could vary due to different age levels. Examples would be diaper costs for the very young child and clothing costs for the teenager.

A portion of the basic Columbus, GA child support obligation already covers the average amounts of special expenses incurred in the rearing of a child. Special expenses included as a deviation are in excess of this average. In order to determine if a deviation for special expenses is warranted, a formula is used. The court or jury will apply discretion when considering this deviation and your family law attorney will help you. 

Supporting Other Children in Your Home

The court has the discretion to consider an adjustment to income for qualified children for the purpose of reducing a parent’s gross income if failure to consider an adjustment would cause substantial hardship to the parent. In addition to the substantial hardship test, the parent seeking the adjustment of his or her gross income for other children in the home must also show why this adjustment is in the best interest of the child in the current case for whom support is being determined. 

Georgia’s Income Shares

Columbus, GA Child Support Guidelines were revised to an income shares model that took effect January 1, 2007. The guidelines are applied to all temporary and final child support orders. 

If you’re looking for a family law attorney specializing in Columbus, Georgia child support, contact Phillips and Sellers Attorneys at Law today for your free consultation!. 


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