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Summer Camp and Extracurricular Activities
If one or both parents pay special expenses on behalf of the minor child or children for which child support is being ordered, that parent may seek what is known as the Allowable Special Expense deviation. This deviation is a subset of the Extraordinary and Special Expenses deviation, and may be found on line 12(c), Schedule E of Georgia’s Child Support Worksheet. The Allowable Special Expense deviation may be sought by either the custodial or non-custodial parent if that parent pays for certain expenses, such as summer camp, music, sports, or other extracurricular activities. See O.C.G.A. §19-6-15(i)(2)(J). See also Supplemental Table 1, Schedule E of Georgia’s Child Support Worksheet.
Similar to the Extraordinary Educational Expenses deviation, it is not possible to input data directly in the fields located within line 12(c). As is noted in the notes in line 12(c)m which is pictured above, the total amount paid by each parent for allowable special expenses should be derived from lines 28 through 30 of Supplemental Table 1, which is also found in Schedule E. Once this portion of the table is completed, line 12(c) will automatically be populated with the appropriate amounts.
Using the sample child support worksheet depicted below, the following example reflects what impact the Allowable special Expenses deviation has on the final child support amount if approved by the presiding judge.
Mother is non-custodial parent and Father is custodial parent. Based on each parent’s income, Mother’s presumptive child support obligation is $639.00 per month. Mother pays $1,700 per year for Child’s summer camp and baseball fees. Mother seeks a deviation based on this amount. If approved by the court, Mother’s child support obligation will be deviated downward, and the final child support amount will equal $612.00 per month.
It is important to note that the Allowable Special Expenses deviation is a non-mandatory deviation, meaning that it is a discretionary deviation that may only be made to the presumptive child support amount if the judge presiding over the matter determines the deviation is warranted and appropriate. See O.C.G.A. §19-6-15(i)(2)(J). It is also important to take special note that as exemplified above, this deviation is not a “dollar for dollar” deviation, meaning the deviation amount does not directly impact the final child support amount like some other non-mandatory deviations. Instead, the deviation amount impacts the final child support amount based on a calculation that takes into consideration each parents income along with the total amount of special expenses paid by the requesting parent.