New Georgia Child Support Guidelines
The State Legislature has passed a comprehensive bill regarding changes to the existing Georgia Statues regarding the calculation of child support. The bad part about the proposed law is that it may be impossible to proceed with an uncontested divorce if there are minor children involved, because of the debatable presumptions of how much time each parent spends with the children and the amount of discovery involved as to the income and expenses of both sides.
The new law has the following provisions to calculate child support:
- You take the gross monthly income of the Father and Mother and add them together.
- If either parent is self employed you reduce their gross income by 8.70 %
- If either parent is paying child support under a preexisting child support order that amount is deducted from the total monthly gross income.
- If either parent has other children living in their home who are not related to this divorce case then the Judge may at their discretion use a substantial hardship test. This means that you take that parent’s gross monthly income, go to the child support tables and determine what the support obligation would be for the number of children not part of the divorce. Then you multiply the support amount by 75%. Finally you would subtract this number from the total family gross income Example: Dad’s gross monthly income is $3,000.00. For two children the support obligation would be $881.00 a month. 75 percent of $881.00 would be $661.00. $661.00 is then deducted from the total gross income derived after step 3
- After the above steps you come to the amount of the total monthly gross income for the husband and wife. You take this figure and proceed to the tables to determine how much support is required based on the number of children.
- The child support table itself is broken down into increments of $50.00. For example purposes I have only included the numbers in $1,000.00 increments. This number is referred to as the basic child support obligation figure.
- Next you find the pro rata share of support for each party
Father’s adjusted income / total combined adjusted income times the basic child support obligation from the above table = Father’s share of the basic support obligation for the children. Example: 7,000/ $10,000 = 70 % for two children he would pay 70% of $ 1,749.00 or $ 1224.30 aadjusted income / total combined adjusted income times the basic child obligation figure = Mother’s share of the basic child support obligation for the children.Important Pro rata percentages for expenses: Father’s adjusted income / total combined adjusted income Mother’s adjusted income / Total combined adjusted income
- Keep the percentages determined in step 7 in mind because these same percentages are used to pro rate health insurance premiums and work related day care costs between the parties. The total of each of these costs is allocated by the percentage in step 7 to each of the parties. There are adjustments to this if one parent is paying all of the health insurance costs or day care. If they are already paying the full amount of these costs, their share of the basic child support obligation in step 7 is reduced by the pro rated amount attributable to the other parent for the expenses.
- At this point the estimated amount of child support will be the basic child support obligation calculated in paragraph 7 plus the prorated expenses for health insurance and work related day care.
- To calculate what each party would be responsible for in uncovered medical costs again use the pro rata percentages from step 7.
- In the event the children have extraordinary or special expenses classified as education, medical, age related, extra curricular, these expenses must be prorated between the parties. The special expenses to be prorated are 93 % of the actual costs. The special expenses are not considered below 7 percent of the total expense.
- If a person has income of less than $ 1,850.00 a month then subtract $900.00 a month from the monthly gross income of the non custodial parent. If this amount is less than the pro rata share of child support calculated in step 7 for the non custodial parent the child support must be set at a minimum of $75.00 a month. Example: combined gross income $3000.00 a month. Dad makes $1,800 a month. $1800.00 – 900.00= $900.00 a month. For two children his share of child support would be 60 % of $ 881.00 a month or $ 528.60 because this amount is not greater than $900.00 a month. If he only made $1000.00 a month (1,000.00 – 900.00 = $100.00 versus $ 881.00 x .30 = $264.30). He would have to pay $100.00 a month and he cannot go below the minimum with any deviations to less than $75.00 a month.
- High income wage earners cap out in the child support tables at $30,000.00 a month in combined adjusted income per month.
- Finally a Judge can deviate from the guidelines for travel expenses for visitation, for a mortgage paid by the non custodial parent for the custodial parent, and for the effect of the income tax exemptions.