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Georgia Child Support: Guidelines Calculations and Enforcement Explained

Georgia Child Support: Guidelines, Calculations, and Enforcement

Every child has a right to financial support from both parents, regardless of whether they are married or not. In Georgia, the Division of Child Support Services (DCSS) ensures that children receive consistent and adequate support from both parents.

In this article, we will take a closer look at how child support is calculated in Georgia, the factors that are considered, and how it is enforced. Child Support Calculation in Georgia: The Income Share Model

Georgia uses the income shares model to calculate child support.

Under this model, the cost of raising a child is divided between both parents based on their income. The guidelines provide a basic calculation to determine the amount of child support that should be paid.

The income shares model considers the following factors:

Incomes of Both Parents

The income of both parents is taken into consideration when calculating child support. This includes all sources of income, such as salary, wages, overtime, commissions, self-employment, rental property, severance pay, pension income, capital gains, and unemployment benefits.

Number of Kids

The number of children involved in the case also affects the calculation of child support. Generally, the more children there are, the higher the amount of child support that is required.

Time Spent with Kids

The amount of time each parent spends with their children also affects the calculation of child support. The parent who has primary custody will receive more child support.

Adjusted Gross Income

The adjusted gross income of each parent is used to calculate the amount of child support that is required. Adjusted gross income is calculated by deducting certain expenses from a person’s gross income.

Impact of

Number of Kids and Remarriage

Child support payments may need to be modified if there is a change in the number of children or if either parent remarries. For example, if a child is born after the initial child support order is issued, the amount of child support may need to be increased or decreased.

Similarly, if a parent remarries, the new spouse’s income may be taken into consideration when calculating child support.

Grounds for Modification

Child support payments can be modified if there has been a significant change in financial circumstances. For example, if one parent loses their job or has a substantial increase or decrease in income, the court may adjust the child support payments.

Child support payments can also be modified if one parent feels that the current order is unfair or if there has been a failure to exercise visitation.

Deviation from Child Support Formula

In some cases, the court may deviate from the child support formula to account for unusual circumstances. This can happen if the parents agree to a different amount of child support, or if the court determines that the statutory amount is unfair.

Enforcement of Child Support in Georgia

The DCSS is responsible for enforcing child support orders in Georgia. If a parent fails to pay child support, the following enforcement measures may be taken:

Contempt of Court Action

If a parent fails to pay child support, they may be held in contempt of court and face jail time. This is usually reserved for cases of deliberate non-payment.

Income Deduction Order

An income deduction order may be issued to the parent’s employer, requiring them to deduct child support payments from the employee’s paycheck. This ensures that child support is paid regularly and on time.

Writ of Fieri Facias (Fi.Fa)

A writ of Fieri Facias, or Fi.Fa, may be issued to place a lien on the parent’s property. This allows the court to take possession of the property and sell it to pay the child support debt.

Garnishment

If a parent falls 30 days behind on payments, their income sources may be garnished to pay the child support debt.

Department of Human Resources

The DCSS is the main enforcement body for child support in Georgia. The agency works closely with the court to ensure that child support orders are enforced.

Consequences of Non-Payment

The consequences of non-payment of child support can be severe. A parent who fails to pay child support may face termination of parental rights, punitive measures, license suspension, wage garnishment, and liens on property.

Conclusion

In conclusion, child support is an important part of ensuring that children have the financial support they need to grow up healthy and happy. Understanding how child support is calculated and enforced in Georgia can help parents make informed decisions and ensure that their children receive the support they need.

If you have questions or concerns about child support, it is recommended that you seek legal advice or contact the DCSS for more information. Child Support Arrears in Georgia: Payment Plans,

Statute of Limitations, and Modification

When a parent falls behind on child support payments, they accrue child support arrears.

In Georgia, child support arrears can have serious consequences, including wage garnishment, property liens, and even jail time. In this section, we will explore how parents can repay child support arrears, how the statute of limitations affects arrears, and when child support arrears can be modified.

Repayment Plan or Agreement

Parents who have fallen behind on child support payments may be able to make a repayment plan or agreement with their former partner. This can help them avoid the consequences of failing to pay child support arrears.

At the same time, it can help them pay off their debt in a manageable and reasonable way.

Statute of Limitations

In Georgia, there is no statute of limitations on child support arrears. This means that a parent can be held responsible for back child support many years after the payments first became due.

In addition, interest accrues on unpaid child support arrears, which can make the debt even more significant over time.

Grounds for Modification

Parents who are struggling to pay child support arrears may be able to modify their child support order to reflect their current financial situation. This may include a significant reduction in income, high household expenses, or the high cost of visitation.

A skilled lawyer can help parents navigate the complex process of modifying child support orders to reflect their current financial circumstances.

Cannot Drop Child Support Arrears

In Georgia, child support arrears cannot be dropped or eliminated. This means that parents who owe child support arrears are responsible for paying them, regardless of their financial situation.

Even if the parent declares bankruptcy, they will still be responsible for paying child support arrears under state law. Discontinuation of Child Support in Georgia: Age, Education, and

Emancipation

Child support payments are meant to help support children until they become adults.

However, there are certain circumstances in which child support payments may be discontinued. In this section, we will explore when child support payments can be discontinued in Georgia.

Age and Education of Child

In Georgia, child support payments typically end when a child turns 18 or graduates from high school, whichever comes later. If a child is over the age of 18 and still in high school, child support payments may continue until they graduate or turn 20, whichever comes first.

Emancipation

In some cases, a child may become emancipated before they reach the age of 18. This can happen if the child gets legally married, joins the military, or is capable of taking care of themselves.

A reversal of decision or no means of supporting themselves can also contribute to emancipation. Eligibility for

Emancipation

In order for a child to be considered emancipated, there must be evidence demonstrating that it is in their best interest.

This evidence may include sworn statements from the child, a demonstration of their ability to take care of themselves, and other factors. In most cases, emancipation must be approved by a judge.

Agreements Out of Court

Parents who wish to discontinue or modify child support payments may be able to reach an agreement out of court. These agreements must be in writing and often require the assistance of a family court attorney.

The agreement must include specific information about when and how child support payments will be terminated or modified. A skilled lawyer can help parents navigate the process of reaching agreements out of court, ensuring that the agreement is fair and in the best interest of the child.

Updates to Georgia Child Support Laws:

Revised Guidelines and

Parental Obligations

The State of Georgia is committed to ensuring that children receive consistent financial support from both parents. To that end, the state has made updates to its child support laws to reflect changing circumstances and new understandings of parental obligation.

In this section, we will explore the latest updates to Georgia child support laws, including revised guidelines, the adoption of the income share model, and parental obligations.

Revised Guidelines

Over the years, Georgia child support guidelines have been revised several times to reflect changes in the economy and perceptions of fairness. Most recently, in 2018, the guidelines were updated to reflect changes in tax laws and tax deductions.

The guidelines take into account the income of the non-custodial parent, the number of children involved, and the amount of time each parent spends with the child.

Adoption of Income Share Model

Georgia uses the Income Shares Model to calculate child support payments. This model takes into account the combined gross incomes of both parents, the amount of parenting time each parent has, and the number of children involved.

The income of each parent is calculated by adding up all sources of taxable income, including wages, salaries, bonuses, and income from investments or rental property.

Impact of New Laws

The adoption of the Income Shares Model has had a significant impact on child support payments in Georgia. Under the new law, the burden of child support payments is more evenly distributed between both parents.

However, the law may place a heavier burden on the non-custodial parent, especially if they earn significantly more than the custodial parent.

Parental Obligation

The new child support guidelines in Georgia take into account the gross combined income of both parents. This means that if one parent earns significantly more than the other, they may be responsible for a larger portion of the child support payment.

However, certain deductions can be made, including self-employment taxes and expenses for previous relationships or existing child support payments.

Deviation from Child Support Guidelines

In some cases, it may be necessary for a judge to deviate from the standard child support guidelines. This could be because of specific circumstances, such as a high cost of living or a significant illness or disability.

Judges have the discretion to deviate from the standard guidelines if they feel that a more suitable figure can be reached. Deviations can also be made if there is a significant deviation in parenting time.

In this case, child support may be adjusted to reflect the percentage of time spent with each parent.

Conclusion

Georgia child support laws have been updated in recent years to reflect new understandings of parental obligation and fairness. The adoption of the Income Shares Model has helped ensure that children receive consistent financial support from both parents.

Additionally, judges have the discretion to deviate from standard guidelines if they feel that a more suitable figure can be reached. Parents who have questions about child support obligations or issues with child support payments are encouraged to contact a family attorney for assistance.

In conclusion, the child support laws in Georgia play a vital role in ensuring that children receive the financial support they need from both parents. The revision of guidelines and adoption of the income share model have sought to create a fair and balanced approach to calculating child support payments.

Parental obligations are taken into account, with the burden of support proportionate to the gross combined income of both parents. Nevertheless, judges possess the flexibility to deviate from the guidelines under exceptional circumstances.

Understanding these updates and obligations is crucial for parents to fulfill their responsibilities and provide for their children’s well-being. If you have concerns or questions about child support, it is wise to consult with a family attorney who can guide you through the legal process.

Remember, ensuring the financial support of children is essential for their growth, development, and future success.

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