When going through a divorce, there are many concerns that you must be considering about the future of your family. As such, one of the biggest concerns after a divorce in Georgia is the finances involved, a major part of which is child support and alimony costs.
Depending on your current costs and income, you and your now ex-partner are still responsible for the care of your children. Georgia state laws include specific methods to calculate the child support due to each parent. A family lawyer can help you figure out a solution that is acceptable for you and your ex.
Income Shares Model for Child Support:
Laws related to child support are supervised and imposed through the Georgia Child Support Commission. Primarily, the commission uses an “Income Shares Model” to determine the cost of the child support each parent must pay.
The first step in calculating child support is determining the custodial parent. The custodial parent is the one who is legally granted sole custody of the child, or a larger percentage of joint child custody in that case. A good determinant of who the custodial parent is calculating the time that a child spends with that parent, in percentages.
In some cases, if both you and your ex-partner earn the same income, other factors may be taken into consideration to determine the custodial parent, based on the child’s best interest, which is also the chief principle that guides all divorce proceedings in courts across the United States.
After the custodial parent has been decided, it is important to remember that all finances related to child support and alimony parents are to be paid to the custodial parent in question, because the court assumes that this parent is already spending their income and resources directly upon the child or children placed in their care. Separate accounts and additional fees can also be decided upon with the help of a family lawyer in light of state laws.
Obligation Schedule for Child Support:
The Georgia Child Support Commission also outlines and mandates an Obligation Schedule. Based on the number of children you and your ex-partner claim, you can use the Obligation Schedule to match the number with the closest measurement of you and your partner’s gross income as a sum.
For each individual parent, the gross income is measured as an adjusted amount by deducting any taxes paid, inapplicable passive incomes or deductions, or others. Usually, income that is counted into the gross income includes wages, salaries, pensions, and also investments or retirement funds.
The sum of both parents’ gross income can decide on child support margins in dollars based on the number of children. These payments are due until the children reach the age of 18 or the age of majority. Minority age children must be supported with a comfortable lifestyle unless the child has not finished high school beyond the age of 18, in which case the age of the eligible child is raised to 20.
The child support hence deducted from the Obligation Schedule is divided between each parent based on their share of the gross income both earn. This is to say that any amount that is the right of the child is covered based on the percentage of total gross income that each partner earns. If one partner earns 60% of gross total income, they are due to pay 60% of the required child support. This is the basic principle of Georgia’s Income Shares Model as discussed above.
If the calculated child support in dollars is not sustainable, there may be adjustments made under the law. One major adjustment involves health insurance and additional medical costs that are required by the child or children. Additionally, any child care costs for work-related needs of both parents, or primarily the custodial one, may need to be adjusted into the total costs or any deductions hence made.
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