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New Child Support Laws to Include VA Disability Credit

Publish Date: 07/01/2024

VA Disability Credit Added by Georgia Senate Bill 454

Georgia's child support system is undergoing significant changes with the implementation of Senate Bill 454, which introduces updates to the Child Support Guidelines codified at O.C.G.A. § 19-6-15. These changes aim to enhance uniformity and mathematical precision in determining child support obligations.

A notable change is the inclusion of a credit for U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) disability benefits, set to take effect on July 1, 2024. By including the Veterans Affairs (VA) disability benefits paid to a minor child in child support calculations, Georgia now offers a more equitable approach for veteran noncustodial parents.

Key Update: VA Disability Credit

Introducing the Veteran's Affairs Disability Credit under SB 454 allows VA disability benefits paid to a child based on the noncustodial parent's disability to be credited against the noncustodial parent's child support obligation. This update recognizes the financial contributions from VA disability benefits and ensures they are factored into the overall child support calculations.

How It Works

Effective July 1, 2024, any disability benefits provided by the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs to a minor child due to the noncustodial parent's disability will be treated as child support payments. These payments will be directly applied to reduce the final child support amount the noncustodial parent is required to pay. This means the noncustodial parent's obligation will be offset by the amount of VA disability benefits received by the child, acknowledging the financial support already being provided through these benefits.

Benefits of the New Law

This update brings several advantages:

Equity for Veterans: Noncustodial parents who are veterans and receive VA disability benefits can have these payments recognized as part of their child support contributions.

Simplified Calculations: By counting VA disability benefits as child support payments, the calculation process becomes more straightforward and reflective of the actual financial support available to the child.

Fairness in Support Obligations: This provision ensures the total support provided to the child is accurately accounted for, preventing potential overburdening of the noncustodial parent while still ensuring the child's needs are met.

Conclusion

Georgia Senate Bill 454 introduces significant reforms to the state's child support system, particularly with the inclusion of VA disability benefits as a credit toward child support obligations. Effective July 1, 2024, these changes will provide a more precise and fair method of calculating child support, benefiting both noncustodial parents who are veterans and the children receiving support. This reform underscores Georgia's commitment to ensuring an equitable child support system that accurately reflects the financial realities of all parties involved.

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Child Support
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