Georgia Child Support Lawyers
Attorneys Assisting With Child Support Calculation
As of January 1, 2007, the new child support guidelines became effective in the State of Georgia. Child support is based upon the income of both parents. The shared income approach is based upon a utilization of a rate table, which establishes a base number that in theory is sufficient to meet the child’s or children’s needs.
The following questions will allow us to compute child support for your case in accordance with the new child support guidelines.
- What is the mother's gross monthly income?
- What is the father's gross monthly income?
- How many children are of this marriage?
- Are there expenses for extracurricular activities?
- Are there daycare expenses?
- Are there extraordinary educational expenses (testing, learning disabilities)? If so, please explain and provide details of these expenses?
- Are there extraordinary medical expenses?
- Are there special expenses for child rearing such as band, camps, clubs, athletics, etc.?
Uniform Superior Court Rules require the parties to exchange Domestic Relations Financial Affidavits (DRFA) in divorce and/or modification actions. This document can assist your lawyer in the initial draft of the Child Support Worksheet.
Contact Coleman, Chambers, Rogers & Williams, LLP at 678-928-5757 for more information
How Does the Court Determine Income?
Income can include the following:
- Salary and wages
- Commissions, fees, tips
- Income from self-employment
- Overtime payments
- Severance pay
- Re-occurring income from pensions or retirement plans
- Interest income
- Income from dividends
- Trust income
- Income from annuities
- Capital gains
- Social Security Disability or retirement benefits received as income by a parent in the case
- Workers’ Compensation benefits
- Unemployment benefits
- Judgments from personal injury or other civil cases
- Gifts (cash or other gifts that can be converted to cash)
- Prizes/Lottery winnings
- Alimony and maintenance from persons not in the case
- Assets which are used for support of the family
- Fringe benefits (if significantly reduces living expenses)
- Any other income, including imputed income (not to include means-tested public assistance)
It is important that you provide as much information and documentation to your lawyer regarding your spouse’s income and the family’s overall expenses. The Child Support Worksheet also takes into consideration:
- Pre-existing child support orders being paid for other children
- Cost of health
- Dental or vision insurance
- Day care costs and by whom paid
- Deviations based upon high income
- Cost of life insurance
- Child and dependent care tax credit
- Visitation related travel expenses
- Alimony paid
- Mortgage (if non-custodial parent is providing cost of home where child resides)
- Other non-specific deviations
At Coleman, Chambers, Rogers & Williams, LLP, our hardworking dedicated team will assist you in assuring all income is captured. Call Coleman, Chambers, Rogers & Williams, LLP at 678-928-5757 .
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Do the Children Have Extraordinary Educational or Medical Expenses?
An experienced family lawyer will be able to explain to you how the presumptive amount of child support is calculated and whether any deviations or appropriate. It is ultimately up to the Court to determine if the deviations will be allowed.
Income Deduction Order
Child support shall be paid either directly or by means of an Income Deduction Order (IDO). If the spouse is self-employed, an IDO may be impractical.
There are five different grounds to be utilized to seek an upward or downward modification of child support:
- A substantial change in either parent’s income or financial status
- A substantial change in the needs of the child
- The non-custodial parent has failed to exercise Court Ordered visitation
- The non-custodial parent has exercised a greater amount of visitation than was provided by Court Order
- An involuntary loss of income
The burden of proof generally lies with the party seeking the modification to successfully prove one of the five grounds and that the revision is warranted. Ultimately, the fact finder must compare the current gross income or financial status of the parents to the gross income or financial status at the time the original Order was entered. Some lawyers commonly refer to this as the “then versus now test”.
The attorneys at Coleman, Chambers, Rogers & Williams, LLP are knowledgeable and here to assist you. Call Coleman, Chambers, Rogers & Williams, LLP at 678-928-5757 .
No Petition can be filed within a period of two years from the date of the Final Order in a previous Petition to Modify if the modification was based upon a substantial change in either parent’s income and financial status or a substantial change in the needs of the child. The two-year rule does not apply if the modification is based upon a non-custodial parent’s failure to exercise Court Order visitation, an involuntary loss of income or if the non-custodial parent has exercised a greater amount of visitation than was provided by Court Order.
Anything less than 15 percent shall take effect immediately and cannot be phased in over a period of time. However, if the modification is at least 15% but less than 30%, then the new amount can be phased in over a period of up to one year. The phase in must be done within an immediate adjustment of at least 25% of the difference. However, if the modification is more than 30%, the Court can allow the phase in over a period of up to two years.
Involuntary Loss of Income
With the jobless rate at an all time high, millions of people have suffered an involuntary loss of income. Under O.C.G.A. § 19-6-15, there are specific examples setting forth what qualifies as an involuntary loss of income:
- Involuntary termination of employment
- An extended involuntary loss of average weekly hours
- Loss of health
- Involvement in an organized strike
- Any similar involuntary adversity resulting in a loss of income of 25% or more
If any of these events have occurred in your life, it is extremely important for you to communicate with a qualified attorney.
Contact Our Family Law Firm Today
If you want results, hire the dedicated and innovative team of Coleman, Chambers, Rogers & Williams, LLP at 678-928-5757 . Coleman, Chambers, Rogers & Williams, LLP has a team of hard working, client focused attorneys and paralegals.