Child Support

GA Law Explanation provided by Findlaw

Our Butterfield Law Firm attorneys have comprehensive experience with all child support matters, which includes:

  • Establishment of child support.
  • Child support calculations.
  • Child support modifications.
  • Child support enforcement motions.

If you are a custodial parent and believe that you are not receiving sufficient enough funds to support your child, we can perform a child support calculation for you.

If you are a non-custodial parent and believe that you are overpaying too much for child support, we can review your case and point out if a motion for a modification of child support is allowable.

Child Support Guidelines for Georgia

Child support is assistance (usually financial), which is owed by parents to and for the benefit of a child. The state of Georgia requires parents to provide adequate support for their minor children. A parent can’t waive a child’s right to receive child support.

How to Begin the Child Support Process

Either parent can begin the application process for Child Support Services by contacting the Georgia Department of Human Resources, Division of Child Support Services. A parent can apply for Child Support Services online or in person at a local child support office.

Who Can Collect Child Support?

Any custodial parent (the person having the child more than half the time) or caretaker of a child can collect regular child support from a parent who should contribute. Once you complete the application process, the Georgia Department of Human Resources, Division of Child Support Services will assist you with obtaining initial child support payments, or in the collection of back payments (called arrearages ).

Another way to start the child support process is by hiring a family law attorney or contacting your local legal aid provider. This generally involves a private lawsuit against the other parent.

What Guidelines will the Judge Follow to Determine Child Support?

Georgia uses an “income-sharing” approach to determine the amount of support. Basically, the amount each parent will have to pay in child support will be based upon both the mother and father’s joint incomes, minus any deductions.

What Does a Court Consider “Income?”

The Court uses a complicated mathematical guideline to determine how much support the non-custodial parent must pay to the custodial parent. First, a judge will determine the gross annual income of both parents and runs the numbers through a support calculator.

This is only a guideline and every case is unique and different. A Georgia court can look at salary, interest, trust income, tips, commission, and other sources to determine a parent’s income. You have to pay child support even if you receive unemployment benefits, disability benefits, Social Security payments, or worker’s compensation payments.

Deviating from Georgia’s Child Support Guidelines

The Guidelines are just that: guidelines. A court may increase or decrease the child support order depending on the individual circumstances of both parents and the best interests of the child. Factors the court looks at include:

  • High Income of the Parents (Combined Income is $30,000 Per Month)
  • Low Income of the Non-Custodial Parent (Earning $1,850 Per Month or Less)
  • Health-related insurance;
  • Life Insurance (One Parent is Insured and the policy names the child as beneficiary)
  • Child and dependent care tax credit;
  • Travel expenses;
  • Alimony;
  • Mortgage;
  • Permanency plan or foster care plan;
  • Extraordinary expenses such as medical conditions or education expenses;
  • Actual Parenting time.

The Law Firm of Torris J. Butterfield and Associates, P.C.

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