Like most other states, Georgia has created a formula employed by judges to calculate the amount of child support you need to pay. Although the process uses a complicated formula, you can get an estimate from an online calculator. However, to determine the amount of child support required, the court first checks both parents’ salaries. Other factors are also weighed – for example, how much time each parent spends with the children.
Determining child support
Almost all states assign child support before alimony. Some states consider net income while others use gross income. Income derived from investments is often also tabulated when determining funds that can contribute to child support. Here are other factors taken into consideration:
- Amount of child support received by a parent from another marriage
- Amount paid by a parent for child support to another marriage
- The cost of health insurance
- Daycare expenses
- Age of the children
- Any irregular income earned by the parents
- Whether a parent has a new partner who contributes to the household income
Child support above or below the norm
When the child support conditions don’t favor you, a judge may deviate from the rules. You can present the judge with a budget showing your expenses and the needs you provide for your children. Here are some circumstances the judge could see as cause for such deviation:
- If the noncustodial parent earns more or has other assets, the judge may increase child support.
- When the paying parent is unable to pay due to low earnings, the judge could choose to review the case.
- A child with special needs may require more support.
Whether you are the custodial or noncustodial parent, you may wish to retain legal counsel to assist you with these matters. A lawyer could help gather and present the information needed for a favorable child support agreement.