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How is Child Support Calculated?

How is Child Support Calculated in Georgia?

In Georgia, child support is calculated using the Child Support Worksheet (now referred to as the Georgia Online Child Support Calculator). First, both parents will enter in their monthly income information, information about their children and other relevant information. This information will produce a "presumptive amount" of child support per month. Please note that the presumptive amount isn't necessarily the final amount of the child support that will be paid. The presumptive amount can varied or "deviated" upward or downward by taking "deviations" into account. Deviations can include adjustments for health insurance costs, child care, parenting time, and several other situations.

What is the Child Support Worksheet? 

The Child Support Worksheet is the basis for the current Georgia Online Child Support Calculator. To calculate monthly child support, the Child Support Worksheet uses the monthly income information of both parents along with several other factors that affect the child's needs and the ability of both parents to meet those needs. The child support worksheet must be used by courts when calculating the amount of child support to be paid. It is important to note that the worksheet only provides a recommendation to the court. As such, the court may use its discretion to determine child support obligations. You don't always have to go to court to determine your child support obligation. Both parties are free to use the Online Child Support Calculator to get a presumptive amount of child support and then agree to that amount.

How to Fill Out a Child Support Worksheet

To fill out the Child Support Worksheet/Online Child Support Calculator, the first thing you need to obtain is your monthly gross income and your coparent's monthly gross income. Both parent's income information will be used in the child support calculation. It's important to remember that gross income includes more than just your salary or wages. There are many sources of income that could be considered gross income. Once you ascertain each party's gross income, you will have to decide if any deviations apply. There are mandatory deviations that must be included in the Child Support Worksheet and there are non-mandatory deviations that don't have to be included unless they are applicable.

Mandatory Deviations 

As discussed above, deviations are used in the Child Support Worksheet and Online Child Support Calculator to vary (upward or downward) the presumptive child support amount. Deviations account for the fact that there may be cases where the presumptive child support amount is too high or too low because of other factors unique to each individual's case. Some deviations are mandatory. This means that you must apply these types of deviations when they exist.

Non-Mandatory Deviations 

Not every deviation is mandatory and must be included. The state of Georgia recognizes that there may be many factors that could come into play causing the presumptive amount to be raised or lowered. When these factors come into play, the parties can choose to apply or choose not to apply them. These are called non-mandatory deviations. Non-mandatory deviations can include many things like: travel expenses, parenting time, private school tuition, summer camp and extracurricular activities.

How Do I Calculate Income for Child Support? 

Your monthly gross income is included in your child support calculation. It should noted that gross income can take many forms - it includes more than just your salary and wages. If you do not receive a salary, you will still be required to report all other types of income like tips, commission, bonus etc. Even if you make no income at all - an income will be imputed to you for child support purposes.

1

Gross Income

2

Variable Income

3

Imputed Income

Calculating gross income for child support
Gross Income

Gross income is over-inclusive. It means all income from any source. You must include your gross income in your child support calculation. Keep in mind, there are special scenarios where your amount of gross income may be reduced.

Calculating variable income for child support
Variable Income

Not everyone is paid in a predictable monthly salary. Some people's income will vary from month to month because of tips, commissions, overtime etc. This income will still have to be included.

Stay at home mom has Imputed income for calculating child support
Imputed Income

What if a parent earns no income or there is no reliable evidence of that parent's income? In this scenario, the court will still calculate an "imputed" income for you taking into account numerous factors.

Georgia Online Child Support Calculator 

Using the Online Child Support Calculator to Calculate Child Support

The Child Support Worksheet is now created online by using the Georgia Online Child Support Calculator. To begin calculating your monthly child support amount, you must first visit the Georgia's Child Support Commission's website and create a login by clicking "Signup" at the top of the page.

Calculating Child Support Online

Additional Resources 

Feel free to read and learn more about related child support topics. 
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The Child Support Worksheet

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