Johns Creek Child Support Lawyer
In Georgia, parents are granted certain rights when it comes to their children. Most parents, for instance, have the right to visitation with their children. Similarly, parents also have specific obligations, one of which is the duty to financially support their children. When two parents decide to separate, this obligation can be fulfilled by paying child support. Which parent must make these payments and how much those payments are, however, will depend on the financial circumstances of the parties involved.
A misunderstanding of one’s child support obligations can have serious repercussions, so if you and your child’s other parent have decided to separate and you have concerns about child support, it is critical to reach out to an experienced Johns Creek child support lawyer who can walk you through your rights and obligations.
Who Can Collect Child Support?
Determining who is required to pay child support can be complicated, especially if two parents have joint custody of a child. The general rule, however, is that any custodial parent, or a parent who has the child more than half of the time, can collect support payments from the other parent. If both parents share time equally, however, the parent with the higher income will usually be required to pay some sort of support to the other. The amount of these payments will require the application of a specific formula, known as the income shares model.
Calculating Child Support
The income sharing approach to calculating child support requires the use of a complicated mathematical guideline that takes a few different factors into account, but focuses primarily on the parents’ incomes. This in turn, requires an in-depth look at not only both parties’ salaries, but also any income from tips, commissions, self-employment, benefits, or trusts. Once each parties’ income has been calculated, deductions will be applied. At this point, the parents’ adjusted gross incomes are added together and then matched with a corresponding amount on the state’s Basic Child Support Obligation Schedule.
Deviating from the State’s Child Support Guidelines
Most child support issues are determined based on the strict application of the income shares model. Judges are, however, allowed to stray from these guidelines in certain cases, including when:
- The parents earn a combined income of $30,000 or more a month;
- The non-custodial parent earns less than $1,850 a month; and
- The child or one of the parents has extraordinary expenses related to medical care or education costs.
In these cases, the court can award child support in an amount that differs from the amount provided under the guidelines. Judges are still directed primarily by what would be in the child’s best interests, however, when making these decisions.
Learn More About Georgia’s Child Support Guidelines
To speak with an experienced Johns Creek child support lawyer about your financial obligations, or the obligations of a former partner to support your child, please call Buckhead Family Law. You can reach a member of our legal team by calling our office at 470-600-6699 or by sending us an online message.