Marietta Child Support Lawyer
Georgia has tried to eliminate much of the uncertainty surrounding child support. Still, issues remain that make the process more complicated than simply entering some numbers into a calculator. At Buckhead Family Law, our Marietta child support lawyer can seek to maximize or minimize the amount of child support that you pay. Contact us to learn more.
Child Support Basics
Parents must support their children even when they live in separate households. This is a bedrock principle of family law. However, to determine how much each parent will pay, Georgia has created guidelines to arrive at a number.
Generally, you can calculate child support by plugging the following into the guidelines:
- The number of children to be supported
- Each parent’s income
The guidelines then give us a presumptive monthly amount that the noncustodial parent pays to the custodial parent. This sounds so simple, right? Unfortunately, there are many wrinkles that need to be ironed out.
Types of Disputes Involving Child Support
With over a decade of experience in family law, our firm has seen all sorts of disputes involving child support. Some issues involve parental income. The law requires that parents report salaries and wages, but also tips, bonuses, overtime, commissions, and other sources of income. If a parent receives dividends or annuity income, that gets reported as well. Some parents artificially deflate their income to reduce the amount of child support they must pay.
When a parent runs a small business, then calculating income is also tricky. Often, profits get reinvested into the business, not withdrawn as income. Some business owners might choose to pay off debt so that their income appears lower than it necessarily would be. Buckhead Family Law has worked with forensic accountants to accurately calculate each parent’s income from all sources.
Some children also have exceptional expenses. Your child might have a disability or expensive educational needs. A judge needs to consider these expenses before he or she decides to deviate from the guidelines. Our Marietta child support attorneys have deep experience making a compelling case before a judge.
A parent might also seek to reduce their child support obligation because they are supporting other children. A judge will consider this factor and might deviate downward from the guideline amount.
Parents with very high or very low incomes need an attorney’s assistance as well. Judges can depart from the guidelines to account for unusual income levels. High-income parents, in particular, need to avoid being taken to the cleaners by a greedy ex-spouse.
The Child Support Obligation
Georgia parents must pay child support until the child reaches 18 and graduates from high school. If your child does not graduate at age 18, then parents must continue to pay until the child graduates or reaches age 20.
Parents are not required to support their adult children in college. However, you might agree to do so in a settlement agreement, which is a contract. Never sign an agreement like this without meeting with an attorney first so that you are aware of what you are agreeing to.
Speak with Our Marietta Child Support Lawyer
Contact Buckhead Family Law to learn more about how child support will impact your case. Our lawyers have the experience you need to seek fair, sensible child support solutions. Contact us today.