The court can deviate from the presumptive child support amount calculated by the child support worksheets for several reasons, IF the child support deviation is in the best interest of the child(ren) for whom child support is being determined. OCGA §19-6-15(i)(1)(A). The tenth deviation category under the statute is parenting time. OCGA §19-6-15(i)(2)(K).
Generally, the Georgia child support guidelines are “based upon expenditures for a child in intact households.” OCGA §19-6-15(i)(2)(K)(i). Since, after a divorce, a child is spending time in two households, the presumptive amount of child support may not be appropriate. The court may order a parenting time deviation “when special circumstances make the presumptive amount of child support excessive or inadequate due to extended parenting time as set forth in the order of visitation or when the child resides with both parents equally.” Id. If the child resides with both parents equally, for example, the parent designated as the non-custodial parent may request a downward deviation in his/her child support obligation so that he/she has sufficient funds to spend on the child during the extended time the child is residing with him/her.
It should be noted that a claim for a parenting time deviation may only be between the custodial and non-custodial parent, not any third parties. OCGA §19-6-15(i)(2)(K)(iii).