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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.

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.

1

Parenting Time

2

High Income

3

Low Income

4

Travel Expenses

5

Life Insurance

6

Extraordinary Expenses

7

Camp & Extracurricular Activities

8

Private School

9

Mortgage

10

Alimony

11

Child & Dependent Care Tax Credit

12

Other Health Related Insurance

13

Non-Specific Deviations

Parenting time deviation for child support
Parenting Time

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.

High income child support deviation.
High Income

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.

Low income child support deviation
Low Income

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.

Travel expenses deviation for child support.
Travel Expenses

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.

Life insurance deviation
Life Insurance

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 deviation for child support
Extraordinary Expenses

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.

Child support deviation for summer camp and extracurriculars.
Camp & Extracurricular Activities

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.

Child support deviation for private school.
Private School

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.

Paying the mortgage for a child support deviation.
Mortgage

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.

Paying Alimony for a Child Support Deviation.
Alimony

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.

Using the Child and Dependent Care Tax Credit to reduce your child support obligation.
Child & Dependent Care Tax Credit

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.

Other health related insurance costs for child support deviation.
Other Health Related Insurance

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.

a couple of people that are sitting in the grass
Non-Specific Deviations

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.

M&T Practice Pointer 

If a mandatory deviation is applicable in your case, then it must be considered. Conversely, judges do not have to grant non-mandatory deviations. Instead, they will use their discretion to determine if it is appropriate to a apply a non-mandatory deviation based on facts and circumstances of your case.

Additional Resources 

Feel free to read more about related topics. You've got questions, we're here with the answers you need. 
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Types of Deviations

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