What is a Child Support Worksheet?
A child support worksheet is the form utilized by courts to determine the basic child support obligation of each parent. This worksheet must be used when determining child support obligations in any case regardless of whether or not it is contested. Hampton v. Nesmith, 249 Ga. App. 514 (2008). The child support worksheet provides the presumptive child support obligation; however, parties can agree to a child support figure and adjust the worksheet accordingly to ensure it represents their agreed upon number. The court ultimately must approve of any child support figure, as child support is for the child’s benefit, not the parents.
When generating a child support worksheet, you will first need to determine the monthly gross income of both parties. The monthly gross income of both parties, along with other expenses of the child, are used to calculate the basic child support obligation. Gross income includes any and all income earned by a party, including rental income, disability, etc. O.C.G.A. § 19-6-15(f). The incomes are used to determine the presumptive child support obligation, however, depending on the needs of the child and each parent’s ability to pay, this figure may be deviated upward or downward and other potential expenses used to meet the child’s needs may be added to the worksheet.
Depending on the child’s needs, expenses may be added into the worksheet, including work-related childcare, extraordinary education and/or medical expenses, insurance premiums and special expenses for child rearing. Furthermore, deviations may be applied, which can cause the child support obligation for one parent to either increase or decrease, depending on the deviation. These include, low income deviation, high income deviation, parenting time deviation and various other non-specific deviations.
It is important to speak with an attorney regarding the child support obligation in any action to ensure you are fully aware of all potential deviations and expenses in your case. You can also generate your own child support worksheet at this website: https://csconlinecalc.georgiacourts.gov/frontend/web/index.php