What are Deviations?
What are Child Support Deviations?
Every family's situation is unique. Therefore, the presumptive amount of child support created by including both parents income in the Online Georgia Child Support Calculator, may not be a sufficient amount. Many times, there are several other factors that affect the child's needs and the ability of both parents to meet those needs. These are accounted for as "deviations." When deviations are included in the child support calculation, they may vary the presumptive amount upwards or downwards depending on the situation. It is important to remember that some deviations must be included in your child support calculation - these are mandatory deviations. Likewise, some deviations may be included but don't have to be - these are non-mandatory deviations.
As mentioned above, if you have a scenario where one of the Mandatory Deviations below applies to your case, then you must take this deviation into consideration when calculating child support. In Georgia, there are two mandatory deviations, which are both listed below.
To learn more about Mandatory Deviations generally click here.
Work Related Child Care Expenses Deviation
Health Insurance Premium Deviation
Non-Mandatory Deviations (Discretionary Deviations)
Non-Mandatory Deviations (also known as discretionary deviations) do not have to be included in your child support calculation. The parties or the court may decide to take these into account where they are appropriate. To read more about non-mandatory deviations generally click here. The following are the most common non-mandatory deviations that are used in child support determinations.
Camp & Extracurricular Activities
Child & Dependent Care Tax Credit
Other Health Related Insurance
One of the most common deviations, the parenting time deviation changes the amount of child support when that amount would either be excessive or inadequate because of the the amount of time a particular parent spends with the children.
If the combined income of both parents exceeds a certain amount, the parents may be considered "high income" and their child support may be deviated upward to make the amount more appropriate given the combined income of both parents.
If the paying parent has no earning capacity or if it can be shown that paying child support would cause extreme financial hardship for that parent, this deviation may be used to adjust the child support obligation downward.
If court ordered visitation will incur significant travel expenses (for example if one parent lives out of state and must book flights and hotels for visitation) than those travel expenses can be taken into account as a deviation and the child support amount will be adjusted accordingly.
If either parent purchases life insurance for the benefit of their child, that purchase could be taken into consideration as a deviation and it could vary the amount of child support.
Extraordinary expenses are evaluated on a case by case basis. If it can be shown that there are expenses that are in excess of average normal expenses incurred by family, this may be taken into account for child support as a deviation.
The deviation covering camp & extracurriculars is called the "Allowable Special Expense Deviation". This may be sought if a parent pays for certain expenses, such as summer camp, music, sports, or other extracurricular activities.
If a parent pays for the child's private school tuition and other expenses these can be taken into account as a deviation for extraordinary educational expenses.
In a situation where the non-custodial parent pays for the residence where the minor child and the custodial parent reside, that parent might be able to reduce his or her final child support obligation using this deviation.
If either parent is court ordered to pay alimony, that payment could be considered as a discretionary deviation that could affect the final child support amount.
If one of the parents is entitled to use the Child and Dependent Care Tax Credit, the other parent could use this deviation to lower their child support obligation in the amount of the tax credit.
If premiums are paid by either parent on behalf of the minor child involved for health related insurance like vision insurance or dental insurance (expenses outside of the normal mandatory health Insurance deviation), then those expenses could be taken into account as a deviation.
Everyone's situation is unique and not every listed deviation may cover your situation. There may be other reasons/expenses that would necessitate a parent asking for a deviation of some kind. Those deviations fall here in the catch all category.