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Georgia Child Support Basics

Posted by attorney Thomas Gore

The child support requirements in Georgia are based upon the gross incomes of both parents as well as the number of children being supported, the time being spent with the child, and other factors. Gross income is very broad, and includes salary, commissions, self-employment income, bonuses, overtime, severance, pension payments, interest, dividends, capital gains, lottery, and income from all other sources. The law is designed to have each parent paying a proportionate share of the childcare expenses based upon their relative incomes.

For example, lets say your family has a gross monthly income of $5,000.00, representing $2,000.00 from the mother and $3,000.00 from the father. Here, the mother contributes to 40% of the family's gross income. If your family has two children, their combined monthly child support obligation would be $1,297.00. Without any further adjustments, if the children are going to live with their mother, their father would be responsible for 60% of the total child support obligation, or $778.20.

The total child support figure, however, is often adjusted for other childcare expenses paid by one of the parents such as medical insurance, private school, or other childcare expenses. Even with the ability to adjust child support for these factors, calculating child support in Georgia is based upon a set formula, and does not always fit with what the parents may want. The primary consideration for the courts is what is in the child's best interest.

Child support normally ends when the child turns 18, marries, dies, or becomes emancipated. However, if the child has not graduated high-school by the time he or she reaches 18 years old, and the child remains a full time student, child support will continue to be required until graduation, but only until the child turns 20 years old.

Additional resources provided by the author

You may also find more information and downloadable child support worksheets at the Georgia Child Support Commission website:

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