man calculating child support in Georgia state

How Is Child Support Calculated in Georgia?

According to GA child support laws, you should use the following table when calculating a child support obligation of both parents:

Adjusted One Child Two Children Three Children Four Children

You can review a full version of the table on the official page of the Judicial Council of Georgia.

Georgia Child Support Guidelines

How does child support work in Georgia? In general, both spouses are obliged to support their kids financially. In this regard, the sum is determined based on Income Shares Model. It means that while making a decision on the payment sum, the judge considers the income of both spouses irrespective of the type of custody any of them possesses. However, the courts also take into account some external factors.

How to Make an Estimate?

Filing for child support in Georgia during a divorce proceeding, spouses have an opportunity to calculate an approximate amount in Georgia Child Support Calculator. However, please note that the overall sum is not final and can be higher or lower based on many factors considered by the court.

Child Support Laws in Georgia

Until 2007, the amount of child support in Georgia was based only on the earnings of a non-custodial parent – the one who does not have physical custody. However, these days, Georgia child support laws for non-custodial parents have been changed, and now the judges rely on Income Shares Model. It is outlined in detail in the state of Georgia child support laws OCGA 19-6-15.

calculating child support payments using formula

Calculating Child Support Payments in Georgia

You can calculate child support in three essential steps. Please note that the sum you will come up with might not be final for your case, and it will be up to the judge to decide. As long as you provide realistic estimates and keep the best interests of your kids in mind, it will be close to the one a non-custodial parent will end up paying.

Step 1: Identify Sources of Income.
What is considered income for child support purposes? This is both earned and unearned types of income which include but are not limited to:
  • Salaries and self-employment earnings;
  • Tips;
  • Commissions;
  • Military pensions;
  • Retirement account payments;
  • Disability payments;
  • Investment shares;
  • Prizes.
All of the above and other earnings will be considered parties’ gross income. Child support received from the ex-spouse, non-parent incomes, public assistance benefits, and foster care payments are not included when making calculations.
Step 2: Calculate the Adjusted Income.

Gross income will not necessarily become a basis for making calculations as various factors may influence child support amount:

  • Self-employment of any of the parties. In this case, income will be reduced by 6.2% for FICA and 1.45% for Medicare.
  • Child support orders from previous marriages. If the amount a parent will have to pay in the current case will severely affect their financial situation, it may be reduced.
  • Other kids who reside with the paying party. This factor will be considered only if it causes financial hardships to the non-custodial parent and is still in the best interests of children in the case.

If any of these apply, the gross income of parents will be adjusted, i.e., reduced for the purpose of making the calculations.

Step 3: Determine Your Child Support Obligation.

As soon as the income of both spouses is determined, it should be combined and matched with the number of kids in the table at the top of this page.

In order to find out about child support percentage in GA, it is important to understand what percentage of a combined income each of the parents contributes.

Example. Let’s presume that in a family with one child, a non-custodial parent earns $1,200, while the custodial one makes $800. If there are no factors justifying the reduction, the combined income is going to be $2,000.

Based on the table above, the Basic Child Support Obligation of both spouses is $437. According to OCGA 19-6-15, child support percent of income of the:

  • Non-custodial parent – 60% of the $437, which is $262,2.
  • Custodial parent – 40% of the $437, which is $174,8.

If there are no adjustments or exceptional circumstances, a custodial parent will receive about $262,2 in child support payments monthly.

Additional Georgia Child Support Calculation Factors

Apart from combined earnings of divorcing spouses, courts in GA also take into account the following factors:

  • Extraordinary expenses.

These might be specific education, healthcare or other spending on a child’s needs. Such expenses will be divided among spouses based on the same percentage that a basic obligation is.

  • The Amount of Parenting Time.

The courts in GA believe that the spouse that has most of the parenting time has to spend more money than the other spouse. Therefore, the sum of the payment may be raised to cover those expenses if the child spends a lot more time with the first parent or lowered if the situation is reversed.

  • Income for Hardships.

Parties who have short-term hardship can request to decrease the sum. An example of such hardship is being fired, laid off, or unable to work for some time. However, if a person has left his or her job voluntarily, the rate will not be decreased.

How Much Is Child Support in Georgia?

It is quite difficult to estimate the average child support in GA as it depends on the income of each spouse, their combined earnings, as well as the number of kids. Unique circumstances of each family also affect the overall sum. Therefore, it is best to use the Child Support Worksheet to make the calculations, as all such factors will be considered there.

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