Divorce on its own is a stressful event in your life. When you have children, the stress is significantly increased. You must not only determine how custody will be divided, but you must also determine how both parents will financially contribute to the needs of your children. These issues have the potential to become contentious, which is why most states have a specific formula to determine child support.
While you can estimate the amount of child support you will be required to pay or will be paid by the other parent, your best source of information are our Macon child support attorneys from Alderman & Hutcherson. Having an experienced child support lawyer in your corner can ensure the outcome is fair to both parties. The Alderman & Hutcherson child support lawyers have deep knowledge regarding the Georgia laws, rules, and regulations that govern Macon child support, and can be your advocate during the entire process.
In the state of Georgia, it is expected that both parents will be responsible for providing adequate financial support for their minor children and that this support will be divided in an equitable manner between the parents. Child support is generally paid on a monthly basis from the non-custodial parent to the custodial parent—because the presumption is that the custodial parent already has a financial obligation to the children. Child support is the right of the child and is expected to be used solely for the benefit of the child or children.
How is Georgia Child Support Determined?
Before 2007, the primary determiner for the amount of child support to be paid hinged on the non-custodial parent’s income. Practically speaking, most judges awarded a flat 20 percent of the non-custodial parent’s gross income for the support of one child, with increases for additional children. When the law changed, many more factors were considered, with Georgia moving to adopt the “Income Shares Model.”
From 2007 on, Georgia child support was calculated through the use of a legislative branch worksheet that considered the total gross income of each parent prior to deductions. Gross income for this purpose includes salary, bonuses, self-employment income, rental property income, and income from social security, unemployment, capital gains, annuities, commissions, and severance pay. The worksheet takes into consideration both parents’ incomes, and the number of children to arrive at a presumptive amount necessary to financially support the child or children.
The incomes of both parents, the individual percentage of the total income, and the obligations of each parent are then calculated. In many cases, the calculations end there, but in some cases, there are additional factors, such as whether one parent will pay for childcare, and costs such as insurance premiums for medical, dental, and vision, extraordinary medical expenses, and extraordinary educational expenses.
Parenting time can also contribute to deviations in child support calculations, particularly when the parent paying child support has parenting time in an amount that is significantly above the “normal” 20.8 percent. It is rare for courts to enter any deviation to the child support worksheet unless that deviation is clearly in the child’s best interests. It is important to work with a child support lawyer in Macon from Alderman & Hutcherson to ensure the amount of child support is fair to all involved and that the child’s needs are being met.
How Long Do Child Support Proceedings Usually Take?
The actual determination of child support shouldn’t take very long once all custody issues are settled. Of course, there is no specific or exact timeline regarding child support proceedings but having a trusted Macon child support lawyer from Alderman & Hutcherson by your side can ensure the proceedings go smoothly and in a timely manner. Our goal is to ensure your child is taken care of in the very best way possible.
How Long Will the Non-Custodial Parent Pay Child Support?
Generally speaking, child support in the state of Georgia will continue until the child turns 18. The exception to this is if the child remains in high school past the age of 18. In this case, child support will continue until the child finishes high school or reaches the age of 20—whichever occurs first. Child support obligations can also continue past the age of 18 if the child is disabled and incapable of being self-supporting. If you have special circumstances, a child support lawyer in Macon from Alderman & Hutcherson can help you plead your case for continued child support, or, if you are the paying parent, can help you establish to the court’s satisfaction the reasons why you should not continue paying child support.
How Can a Child Support Lawyer in Macon Help with Child Support Modification?
There are certain instances when a judge may agree to make adjustments to the financial obligations of one or both parents, namely when one or more of the following has occurred:
- One or both parents have had a significant change in income.
- A parent has lost his or her job or secured a significantly better-paying job.
- The need for daycare for the child has changed significantly.
- The child’s medical or educational needs have changed significantly.
- The child is spending more time with one parent than was originally determined under the original order.
If you are the parent requesting the modification, you need an experienced child support attorney from Alderman & Hutcherson who can point out the factors affecting the child support, presenting evidence to persuade the judge. The judge will then review the new information, determining whether a child support modification is warranted.
Contact Alderman & Hutcherson
If you are dealing with a child support issue—or another family issue—we encourage you to reach out to Alderman & Hutcherson. We are experienced, knowledgeable child support attorneys in Macon with a long history of helping our clients get through their family issue in the best way possible. We are available to help you when the issues in your life seem overwhelming. Do not go through this alone—you deserve to have a legal team by your side that will ensure you are receiving the support you need and deserve. Contact our Alderman & Hutcherson child support attorneys today!