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How is Georgia Child Support Determined?

Starting on January 1, 2007, the formula for calculating child support in Georgia changed drastically. Up until that point, Georgia was one of the last remaining states that evaluated only theincome of the non-custodial parent when it calculated child support. With the passage of a new law, Georgia changed ended its prior methodology and instead adopted an income-sharing approach todetermine child support.

Under the new law, codified as O.C.G.A. § 19-6-15, both the Mother’s and the Father’s incomes are now used to calculate support. In summary, the court now determines what is the annual grossincome of both parties (or imputes what it believes said income should be based upon a parties education and work experience) and runs those numbers through a support calculator to determine theamount of child support a non-custodial parents should pay. For your use in evaluating child support, here is a link to the official Georgia Child Support Calculator and Worksheets.

If you have ever started to use this calculator you will quickly find that determining each party’s annual gross income is not the end of the analysis for determining child support. Inparticular, O.C.G.A. 19-6-15(b)(8) has delineated eleven deviations that the court can take into account when calculating child support. These factors are:

  1. High income;
  2. Low income;
  3. Health related insurance;
  4. Child and dependent care tax credit;
  5. Travel expenses;
  6. Alimony;
  7. Mortgage;
  8. Permanency plan or foster care plan;
  9. Extraordinary expenses;
  10. Parenting time; and,
  11. Nonspecific deviations.

It is the analysis of these deviation factors (and determining the appropriate gross income numbers of the parties) that are critical to a proper analysis of how much child support is owed in a particular case.

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