Georgia takes an “income-sharing” approach to determining child support. The court uses a set of complex mathematical guidelines to calculate each parent’s income, minus deductions, to determine how much is owed to the noncustodial parent.
However, determining child support payments in Georgia is not always as straightforward as simply referencing the data provided in the state’s Child Support Guidelines. It’s important to remember that this guideline is only a starting-off point – and a variety of factors can cause your case to deviate from this standard.
For instance, inflation has been on the rise in recent months – so the suggested child support figures may not be sufficient to cover the actual cost of living now. In addition, Congress has not yet passed the Build Back Better bill, which would extend the Child Tax Credit payments that were introduced in 2021. Many families rely on these to cover basic needs. Finally, the pandemic has resulted in economic uncertainty that can affect job stability and reliable income.
Individual circumstances within a family can also contribute to an increase or decrease in child support. Such factors may include:
- Age of your children
- Standard of living to which your children were accustomed during the marriage
- Any unusually expensive medical treatments your children require
- Non-marital assets or liabilities of either spouse
- Unusual financial needs of either spouse
- External support obligations of either spouse
- Other factors that impact the best interests of the children
- Other extraordinary expenses – such as childcare, education or car insurance for your child
For all of these reasons – and many others, too – it’s important to discuss your case with an experienced family law attorney. They can advocate for you to help ensure your child support agreement – or modification – covers every appropriate expense for your family’s situation.