Can high or low income impact a child support order in Georgia?
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Can high or low income impact a child support order in Georgia?

On Behalf of | Oct 19, 2022 | Child Support |

In Georgia family law cases, one of the key aspects that the court will spend a significant amount of time on to try and come to a fair resolution is child support. Not only must the order adhere to the state guidelines, but it must suit the child’s needs and serve their best interests. While these guidelines are part of the law, they do not fit every situation.

In cases where the court must consider mitigating factors, it is important to know about deviations. Specifically, people who have a high or low income should be aware about how the order is impacted.

How will the court adjust the order based on high or low incomes?

The guidelines specify a range of how much will be paid each month. Often, this is based on how many children the couple has, the parents’ income, their potential income and other factors. If parents earn high salaries that go beyond a combined $30,000 each month, the court will set the child support amount accordingly. It will be the highest level on the table and the court or jury will have the option to raise it even higher than what the guidelines say if it serves the child’s best interests.

For low-income parties, the noncustodial parent who will be paying support can request a deviation. They must show they have no earning capacity or the amount they would pay in child support based on the guidelines would leave them in extreme economic hardship. If they are getting their income solely through Supplemental Security Income, they will be viewed as having no earning capacity.

The court will want to see all sources of income, their assets and benefits. It can also consider their reasonable expenses. When determining whether the support order should be reduced from the guidelines based on low income, the court or jury will also think about the custodial parent’s needs and how this can be problematic for them. As with any issue related to child support, the child’s best interests are essential.

For people who believe a deviation is warranted, legal help can be key

In family law cases, child support is generally based on the guidelines set by the state. However, not everyone earns the same income, has the same assets or has needs that fit into the formula. Regardless of the perspective and whether it is a person who has a high income, a low income or the custodial parent disagrees with the attempt to adjust the amount, having professional advice can be vital to the case.