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Possible Link Between Divorce And Childhood Obesity

Sunday, August 10th, 2014

There are several blogs posted on this site discussing the link between marriage/divorce and health.  Thus far, all of these blogs have focused on the health of the spouses themselves.  A new study by the Norwegian Institute of Public Health and the University of Oslo has now found that children of divorced parents may have health risks as well. New Study Funds Link Between Children Of Divorce And Obesity, by Taryn Hillin, The Huffington Post, June 5, 2014.

In that study, researchers studied 3,166 Norwegian third graders to determine how their parents’ marital status affected their weight.  The results were startling: “Children of divorced parents had a 54 percent higher prevalence of general overweight (including obesity) and 89 percent higher prevalence of abdominal obesity compared to children of married parents.”  The researchers speculated as to what contributed to these statistics.  They reasoned that, after a divorce, parents may be stretched for time and may rely more on convenient, ready to eat foods rather than cooking at home.  In addition, parents may be stretched financially after a divorce, which may result in choosing cheaper, less healthy food options.  Further, the stress of a parent’s divorce may impact a child’s eating behavior and physical activity.

Divorcing parents should take responsibility to ensure that their children do not end up negatively impacted by the divorce as the children were in this study.  While both parents will be stretched in different directions after a divorce, take time to talk to your kids and make sure they are getting what they need both physically and emotionally.  This can help them better deal with the changes and hopefully avoid the health risks associated with divorce.

Georgia child support deviations – Extraordinary Expenses

Friday, January 21st, 2011

The court can deviate from the presumptive child support amount calculated by the child support worksheets for several reasons, IF the child support deviation is in the best interest of the child(ren) for whom child support is being determined. OCGA §19-6-15(i)(1)(A). The tenth deviation category under the statute is extraordinary expenses. OCGA §19-6-15(i)(2)(J). Generally, child support is based upon “average child expenses for families given the parents’ combined adjusted income and number of children.” Id. The legislature recognized that expenses for children are highly variable and, thus, included this deviation so that these expenses may be considered on a case-by-case basis. Id. If extraordinary expenses are found, they “shall be prorated between the parents by assigning or deducting credit for actual payments” made for these extraordinary expenses. Id.

There are three types of extraordinary expenses that may be considered:

1. Extraordinary educational expenses – Includes tuition, room and board, lab fees, books, fees, and other reasonable and necessary expenses associated with education OCGA§19-6-15(i)(2)(J)(i). Expenses must be “appropriate to the parent’s financial abilities and to the lifestyle of the child if the parents and the child were living together.” Id.

2. Special expenses incurred for child rearing – Includes summer camp, music/art lessons, extracurricular activities. The basic child support obligation covers average amounts for these expenses, but “when these special expenses exceed 7 percent of the basic child support obligation, then the additional amount of special expenses shall be considered as a deviation to cover the full amount of the special expenses.” OCGA §19-6-15(i)(2)(J)(ii).

3. Extraordinary medical expenses – Includes medical expenses not covered by insurance that cause extreme economic hardship. OCGA §19-6-15(i)(2)(J)(iii).

Georgia child support deviations – Other Health Related Insurance

Friday, December 17th, 2010

The court can deviate from the presumptive child support amount calculated by the child support worksheets for several reasons, IF the child support deviation is in the best interest of the child(ren) for whom child support is being determined. OCGA §19-6-15(i)(1)(A). The third deviation category under the statute is other health related insurance. OCGA §19-6-15(i)(2)(C). This deviation is included in the statute to cover a situation in which a parent “has vision or dental insurance available at a reasonable cost for the child.” Id.

If the non-custodial parent has vision and/or dental insurance for the child, the insurance premiums are an expense that parent is paying for the benefit of the child. That parent is, thus,paying child support and paying an additional amount in insurance premiums. For example, consider a situation in which the presumptive amount of child support is $800 per month, and the noncustodial parent is paying an additional $100 per month in vision/dental insurance premiums for the child. This parent is essentially paying $900 per month for the child. This parent may request a downward child support deviation to make up this difference.

Georgia Family Law Case Update – Contempt, Modification, Child Support, Health Care, and Attorney’s Fees

Monday, October 27th, 2008

The Georgia Supreme Court issued an order today in Pineres v. George, S08A0773, which has several implications for Georgia law. First, it held that a trial judge has no authority in a contempt proceeding to modify the obligations imposed by a divorce decree. Second, the Georgia Supreme Court held that medical expenses constitute a form a child support.

Of note in this case, the modification being sought was in regards to the psychological expenses for the minor child and there had previously been a petition for modification of child support made less than two years ago. Because Georgia law prohibits a modification of child support less than two years after an order on a previous modification petition by the same spouse, it upheld an awarded of frivolous litigation fees under O.C.G.A. § 9-15-14 against the spouse that was now seeking to modify the amount of medical expenses that they had to pay.

Child Support and Health Insurance for Children

Thursday, March 1st, 2007

Under the Georgia Child Support Guidelines, expenses for a child’s health insurance premiums are included in the child support calculation. OCGA §19-6-15(h). The total health insurance premium is prorated between the parents based upon their respective incomes on the child support worksheets. The health insurance premium gets added as an adjustment to the basic child support obligation as an “additional expense” on the Child Support Worksheets. OCGA 19-6-15(h)(2)(A). The total premium is then divided pro rata between the parents and the end result is that the payor gets credit toward his/her child support obligation for the amount paid. Thus, the child support obligation is lowered by the amount of the premium for which the other parent is responsible.

For example, if the father makes $40,000 per year and the mother makes $60,000 per year, and the health insurance premium is $100/month, the father will be responsible for $40 and the mother will be responsible for $60. If the father is the child support payor and he is the one paying the premiums, his child support obligation will be lowered by $60/month, which is the amount of the health insurance premium for which the mother is responsible.