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How To Calculate Child Support In Atlanta


If you are going through a divorce and share minor children with your spouse, or if you are separating from a partner with whom you share minor children, you will need to learn more about how Georgia courts calculate child support. Since 2007, Georgia has used the income shares model for calculating child support, which takes into account each parent’s gross income and determines the total child support obligation based on their combined earnings. Then, the court determines each parent’s percentage of the obligation based on individual gross income and other relevant factors. Under Georgia law, the following are the steps the court will take to calculate child support in Atlanta, which can help you to plan ahead for your child support obligation.

  1. Determine Each Parent’s Gross Income 

First, the court will determine each parent’s monthly gross income for purposes of calculating each party’s child support obligation. Gross income can include bonuses, commissions, K1 income.

  1. Adjustments to Each Parent’s Gross Income 

Next, the court may adjust each parent’s monthly gross income by making relevant deductions that may include self-employment taxes, preexisting child support obligations, and theoretical child support for other qualified children.

  1. Combine the Parents’ Adjusted Gross Incomes 

After adjusting each parent’s gross income, the court will combine the adjusted gross incomes to determine a total combined adjusted income.

  1. Identify the Total Basic Child Support Obligation 

With the combined adjusted income, the court will turn to the child support obligation table to determine the total basic child support obligation. The table streamlines this process so that the basic child support obligation is objective, based on income and the number of children in need of support.

  1. Calculate Each Parent’s Share of the Obligation 

When the court has the basic support obligation from the table, it will then calculate each parent’s share of that obligation for the custodial and noncustodial parent. The court will divide the combined adjusted income into each parent’s individual adjusted income to determine the percentage of the basic support obligation for which each parent will be responsible.

  1. Adjustments to the Support Obligation 

Next, the court will determine an adjusted support obligation by considering additional expenses like health insurance for the children and work-related childcare costs.

  1. Determination of the Presumptive Amount of Support for the Custodial and Noncustodial Parent 

After considering additional expenses and adjustments, the court will “determine the presumptive amount of child support for the custodial parent and noncustodial parent,” according to Georgia law.

  1. Consider Deviations 

Finally, the court can apply deviations to the support obligation to increase or decrease the presumptive amount. Reasons for deviations can include especially high or low income, insurance costs, travel expenses, alimony payments, mortgage payments, parenting time, and extraordinary expenses. The court can also consider other deviations that are relevant to the case.

The presumptive amount of child support is something that either party can argue is not an appropriate amount to pay or receive. The parties can also agree that the presumptive amount is not the appropriate amount of child support.

Contact an Atlanta Child Support Lawyer for Assistance 

If you have questions about calculating child support in Georgia, one of our Atlanta child support attorneys can assist you. Contact Kaye, Lembeck, Hitt & French to learn more about our family law practice and how we can help with your case.

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