Georgia Child Support Deviations – the Georgia child support guidelines allow for several deviations to the presumptive amount of child support. The Georgia Child Support Deviations are listed under O.C.G.A. § 19-6-15(b)(8). Following are some the deviations and considerations in determining if they apply in your case.
- High Income. Parents are considered high income if their combined gross income exceeds $30,000.00 per month. O.C.G.A. § 19-6-15(i)(2)(A).
- Low Income. There is a floor of $100.00 per month for one child ($50.00 per additional child per month) even where a low income deviation is awarded. See O.C.G.A. § 19-6-15(i)(2)(B)(vi).
- Other health related insurance. This deviation is for dental and/or vision insurance for the child.
- Life Insurance. Note that the life insurance must be for the benefit of the child for whom support is being determined before it is an available deviation, also, like many other deviations; it is a dollar-for-dollar deviation. Note that is was held that the trial court did not abuse its discretion by declining to consider the cost of the life insurance in calculating the parent’s child support obligation because the evidence indicated that the parent’s company, not the parent, paid the life insurance premium (see Simmons v. Simmons, 288 Ga. 670 (2011).
- Child And Dependent Care Tax Credit. The court or jury may deviate “in consideration” of the Child and Dependent Care Tax Credit. See O.C.G.A. § 19-6-15(i)(2)(E). Importantly, this is not a deviation based on claiming a child as a dependent. The Child Dependent Care Tax Credit related to certain qualifying expenses for the care of a qualifying child under twelve years old to enable a parent to work or look for work.
- Travel Expenses. The travel expenses must be “substantial” related to “court ordered visitation” and the court may consider “the circumstances” of the parents “as well as which parent moved and the reason for such move.” See O.C.G.A. § 19-6-15(i)(2)(F). When the deviation is granted and accompanied by the proper findings of fact, the trial court’s decision is not likely to be overturned. See Black v. Black where the Court found no abuse of discretion for visitation related travel expenses because the mother had the option to remain with the children in the marital home, but chose to move out of state and incur travel related expenses for parenting time. 292 Ga. 691, (2013).
- Alimony. Alimony payments may not be considered a deduction from gross income, “but may be considered as a deviation from the presumptive amount of child support.” See O.C.G.A. § 19-6-15(i)(2)(G). The problem with an alimony deviation from child support is that the term for alimony is more often shorter than the term of child support.
- Mortgage. Paying for housing can offset child support dollar-for-dollar. See O.C.G.A. § 19-6-15(i)(2)(H).
- Extraordinary Expenses. This category of deviation includes extraordinary education expenses (private school, tutoring, etc), special expenses of child rearing and extraordinary medical expenses. Unlike the deviation discussed above, the extraordinary expenses of child rearing when included in Schedule E of the Child Support worksheets, prorate such expenses based on the parent’s respective income shares. It is worth noting that the Child Support Guidelines provide that a deviation for extraordinary medical expenses “may be ordered for a specific period of time measured in months.” See O.C.G.A. § 19-6-15(i)(2)(J)(iii). The Guidelines do not address this issue in any more detail, but it does imply that two sets of worksheets – one with the deviation for extraordinary medical expenses and one without could be used with some direction in the order as to how many months the deviation will be allowed.
- Parenting Time. The court may order a parenting time deviation “when special circumstances” make the presumptive amount of child support excessive or inadequate due to extended parenting time as set fourth in the order of visitation or when the child resides with both parentis equally. See O.C.G.A. § 19-6-15(i)(2)(J)(iii).
- Nonspecific Deviations. The nonspecific deviation may only be granted “when the court or the jury finds it is in the best interest of the child.” See O.C.G.A. § 19-6-15(c).
Georgia Child Support Deviations – If you have questions about how to use the Georgia Child Support Worksheet Calculation and apply the Georgia Child Support Deviations – Contact the Remboldt Law Firm at 404-348-4081.
You may find the Georgia Child Support Worksheet helpful in applying the Georgia Child Support Deviations. Also, if you are considering an uncontested divorce, you may find the Uncontested Divorce Worksheet helpful in moving forward with an uncontested divorce.