Child Support

Child Support Basics

  1. Parents are required to provide adequate support for their minor child or children. Both parents are required to provide for the maintenance, protection, and education of the minor child or children.
  2. Child support is the right of the child and not that of the custodial parent.
  3. In Georgia, both the income of the custodial parent and noncustodial parent are taken into account.

To calculate child support, the following is a step by step approach:

  • Determine the monthly gross income of both the custodial parent and the noncustodial parent. Gross income may include imputed income, if applicable. Gross income shall be calculated on a monthly basis. The determination of monthly gross income shall be entered on the Child Support Schedule A — Gross Income;
  • Adjust each parent’s monthly gross income by deducting the following from the parents’ monthly gross income and entering it on the Child Support Schedule B — Adjusted Income if any of the following apply:

(A) One-half of the amount of self-employment taxes;

(B) Preexisting orders; and

(C) Theoretical child support order for qualified children, if allowed by the court;

  • Add each parent’s adjusted income together to compute the combined adjusted income;
  • Locate the basic child support obligation by referring to the child support obligation table. Using the figure closest to the amount of the combined adjusted income, locate the amount of the basic child support obligation in the column underneath the number of children for whom support is being determined. If the combined adjusted income falls between the amounts shown in the table, then the basic child support obligation shall be based on the income bracket most closely matched to the combined adjusted income;
  • Calculate the pro rata share of the basic child support obligation for the custodial parent and the noncustodial parent by dividing the combined adjusted income into each parent’s adjusted income to arrive at each parent’s pro rata percentage of the basic child support obligation.
  • Find the adjusted child support obligation amount by adding the additional expenses of the costs of health insurance and work related child care costs, prorating such expenses in accordance with each parent’s pro rata share of the obligation and adding such expenses to the pro rata share of the obligation. The monthly cost of health insurance premiums and work related child care costs shall be entered on the Child Support Schedule D — Additional Expenses. The pro rata share of the basic child support obligation and the pro rata share of the combined additional expenses shall be added together to create the adjusted child support obligation;
  • Determine the presumptive amount of child support for the custodial parent and the noncustodial parent resulting in a sum certain single payment due to the custodial parent by assigning or deducting credit for actual payments for health insurance and work related child care costs;
  • In accordance with subsection (i) of this Code section, deviations subtracted from or increased to the presumptive amount of child support are applied, if applicable, and if supported by the required findings of fact and application of the best interest of the child standard. The proposed deviations shall be entered on the Child Support Schedule E — Deviations. In the court’s or the jury’s discretion, deviations may include, but are not limited to, the following:

(A) High income

(B) Low income

(C) Other health related insurance

(D) Life insurance

(E) Child and dependent care tax credit

(F) Travel expenses

(G) Alimony

(H) Mortgage

(I) Permanency plan or foster care plan

(J) Extraordinary expenses

(K) Parenting time and

(L) Nonspecific deviations

  • The final child support order shall be the presumptive amount of child support as increased or decreased by deviations and any benefits which the child receives under Title II of the federal Social Security Act shall be applied against the final child support order. The final child support amount for each parent shall be entered on the child support worksheet, together with the information from each of the utilized schedules;
  • In addition, the parents shall allocate the uninsured health care expenses which shall be based on the pro rata responsibility of the parents or as otherwise ordered by the court. Each parent’s pro rata responsibility for uninsured health care expenses shall be entered on the child support worksheet; and
  • In a split parenting case, there shall be a separate calculation and final child support order for each parent.

– Child Support Worksheet: Whether a contested case or an uncontested case, the worksheet must be used by the court when entering child support orders.

– The worksheet provides a rebuttable presumptive amount.

– The amount can be deviated or modified upward or downward.

– The worksheet is in spreadsheet form and it automatically calculates your child support amount once all the required information is entered.

  • Child Support Worksheet: Whether a contested case or an uncontested case, the worksheet must be used by the court when entering child support orders.

– The worksheet provides a rebuttable presumptive amount.

– The amount can be deviated or modified upward or downward.

– The worksheet is in spreadsheet form and it automatically calculates your child support amount once all the required information is entered.