Each U.S. state has its own statutory guidelines to deal with issues of child support. Under Georgia law, the non-custodial parent will typically owe some amount of child support to the custodial parent. Though, how much exactly will be owed on a monthly basis will depend on a number of different factors.
The most important factor is the gross income of both parents. Contrary to many other states, Georgia factors both parents’ incomes when calculating child support obligations. This can sometimes make it especially confusing to figure out how much is owed. In this article, our experienced Winder, GA child support attorneys explain how child support is calculated in Georgia.
How Much is Child Support in Georgia?
To standardize the process, the Georgia state legislature has enacted official child support guidelines ((O.C.G.A.) §19-6-15). These guidelines are to be used to determine child support obligations. However, even with these guidelines in place, there is no one answer to how much should be owed. As a baseline, Georgia courts may award child support that is approximately 20 percent of a non-custodial parent’s gross income. Though, that will vary based on several different factors.
Georgia Operates Under the ‘Income Shares’ Model
Under the old law, only the income of the parent who was ordered to pay child support was considered. However, in 2007, the state’s rules changed. Now, the Georgia child support formula will consider the gross income of both parents. To better understand how this calculation works, please consider the following example:
Parent A has primary custody of the child and has a gross income of $2,500 per month. Parent B does not have primary custody of the child and makes $7,500 per month. Together, the monthly gross income of these two parents is $10,000. The total child support calculations will be determined using that $10,000. However, Parent A, the parent who receives child support, would be responsible for 25 percent of the child support costs.
As this example illustrates, calculating child support can be complicated. To make matters even more complicated, if the parents have multiple children, that will change the calculation. In addition, monthly incomes can change over time. What was once an appropriate child support award may need to be modified to comply with Georgia law.
You Need Legal Representation in a Child Support Dispute
If you are involved in a child support dispute, you should consult with an experienced Georgia family law attorney as soon as possible. Whether you have questions about child support awards, you think you are paying too much, you think you are receiving too little, or you think that child support should be modified, we can help. Our legal team will make sure that your financial rights are fully protected so that you can support yourself and your family.
Contact Our Georgia Child Support Lawyers Today
At Mitchell & Crunk, our dedicated Georgia family law attorneys have extensive experience handling all sides of child support disputes. To get a free, fully private child support consultation, please contact us today. With offices in Winder and Commerce, we handle family law cases throughout Northern Georgia, including in Jackson County, Hall County, and Barrow County County.