Tag Archives: child support guidelines

Georgia Child Support Unemployment

Georgia Child Support UnemploymentGeorgia Child Support UnemploymentThe Court will determine if a parent is willfully or voluntarily unemployed or underemployed by considering the reasons for the parent’s occupational choice and assess the reasonableness of these choices in light of the parent’s responsibility to support his or her child and whether the choices benefit the child. (O.C.G.A. § 19-6-15(f)(4)(A).

In determining if a parent is willful or voluntarily unemployed or underemployed, the court will consider occupational choices which may be motivated only by an intent to avoid or reduce the payment of child support.  Additionally the Court may consider any intentional choice or act that affects a parent’s income and if there is a substantial likelihood that the parent could, with reasonable effort apply his or her education, skills or training to produce income.  (O.C.G.A. § 19-6-15(f)(4)(C).

Specific factors considered by the Court in determining will or voluntary unemployment or underemployment include:

  1. Past and present unemployment;
  2. Education and training;
  3. If the parent is pursuing additional training or education, if the pursuit is reasonable in light of the parent’s responsibility to support his or her child and if the child will benefit by increasing the parent’s level of support in the future;
  4. The ownership of valuable assets and resources, such as an expensive home or automobile, that appear inappropriate or unreasonable for the income claimed by the parent;
  5. The parent’s health and ability t work outside the home;
  6. The parent’s role (1) as caretaker of the child, (2) a disabled or seriously ill child, (3) a disabled or seriously ill relative for whom that parent has assumed the role of caretaker.

(see O.C.G.A. § 19-6-15(f)(4)(D).

Georgia Child Support Unemployment – If you have questions about how to use the Georgia Child Support Worksheet when you are determining your gross income, you need help determining your income if you are unemployed or underemployed,  or you need help with completing an uncontested divorce – Contact the  Remboldt Law Firm at 404-348-4081.

 For more information on the Georgia Child Support Calculation Gross Income – you may find the Georgia Child Support Worksheet helpful.  Also, if you are considering an uncontested divorce, you may find the Uncontested Divorce Worksheet helpful in moving forward with an uncontested divorce.

 

Uncontested Divorce Child Support Agreements

Uncontested Divorce Child Support Agreements  – Georgia – Uncontested Divorce Child Support AgreementsBeginning January 1, 2007, the guidelines for calculating permanent child support is based on an “income shares” model which take into account the income of both the custodial parent and the noncustodial parent.  The guidelines apply to child support in both contested and uncontested matters including an uncontested divorce.

In an uncontested divorce child support agreements – the agreements must specify (1) the amount of permanent support, (2) the party paying the support, (3) in what manner, (4) how often, (5) to whom, (6) until when.  (see O.C.G.A. § 19-6-15 (a)).

The parties to an uncontested divorce child support agreements may enter into an agreement settling all questions of child support, however, the court may approve of the agreement in whole or in part, or refuse to approve it all together. (Howard v. Greenway, 223 Ga. 252, 1967).

The parties may enter into an agreement regarding child support as long as 1) it is specific, 2) does not contravene a statute, and 3) does not violate public policy. (Kendrick v. Childers, 267 Ga. 98(1) (1996).

Note:  One parent cannot contract away the right of a child to be support by the other parent, and such a provision in a divorce decree is void.  (Collins v. Collins, 172 Ga. App. 748, 324 (1984)).

The Child Support Guidelines

The child support guidelines are a minimum basis for determining the amount of child support and the guidelines apply as a rebuttable presumption in all legal proceedings involving the child support responsibility of a parent in Georgia.

The guildlines must be used when the court enteres a child support order in an uncontested divorce (O.C.G.A. § 19-13-4 ).  the rebuttable presumptive amount of child support provided may be increased or decreased according to (1) the best interest of the child for whom support is being considered, (2) the circumstances of the parties, (3) the grounds for deviation, and (4) to achieve the state policy of affording to children of unmarried parents, to the extent possible, the same economic standard of living enjoyed by children living in intact families consisting of parent with similar financial mean. (see O.C.G.A. § 19-6-15(c)(1)).

Uncontested Divorce Child Support Agreements- If you have questions about the Georgia Child Support Guidelines, or how to use the Georgia Child Support Worksheet – Contact the  Remboldt Law Firm at 404-348-4081.

You may find the Georgia Child Support Worksheet helpful in calculating a Georgia Child Support amount.  Also, if you are considering an uncontested divorce, you may find the Uncontested Divorce Worksheet helpful in moving forward with an uncontested divorce.

 

Georgia Child Support Calculation Gross Income

Georgia Child Support Calculation Gross Income – When determining income for child support, the “gross income” of each parent shall be used to calculate the presumptive amount of child support to be paid by each parent towards the care of their dependent child or children.  O.C.G.A. § 19-6-15(a)(12) defines “gross income” as all income to be included in the calculation of child support.

Georgia Child Support Calculation Gross Income

O.C.G.A. § 19-6-15(f) provides that “child support shall income all income from any source, before deductions for taxes and other deductions such as preexisting orders for child support and credits for other qualified children, whether earned or unearned, and incomes but is not limited to, the following:” (emphasis added.)

(A) Attributable Income, INCLUDING

  1. Salaries;
  2. Commissions, fees, and tips;
  3. Income from self-employment;
  4. Bonuses;
  5. Overtime payments;
  6. Severance pay;
  7. Recurring income from pensions or retirement plans including, but not limited to, United States Department of Veterans Affirs, Railroad Retirement Board, Keoghs, and individuals retirement accounts;
  8. Interest income;
  9. Dividend income;
  10. Trust income
  11. Income from annuities;
  12. Capital gains;
  13. Disability or retirement benefits that are received from the Social Security Administration pursuant to Title II of the federal Social Security Act;
  14. Workers’ compensation benefits, whether temporary or permanent;
  15. Unemployment insurance benefits;
  16. Judgements recovered for personal injuries and awards from other civil actions;
  17. Gifts that consist of cash or other liquid instruments, or which can be converted to case;
  18. Prizes;
  19. Lottery winnings;
  20. Alimony or maintenance received from persons other than parties to the proceeding before the court;
  21. Assets which are used for the support of the family; and
  22. Other income.

(B) Self Employment Income.  Income from self-employment INCLUDES income from, but not limited to:

  1. business operations (Harrell v. DHR, 300 Ga. App. 497 (2009)
  2. work as an independent contractor or consultant,
  3. sales of goods or services, and
  4. rental properties

LESS ordinary and reasonable expenses* necessary to produce such income.

Income from self-employment, rent, royalties, proprietorship of a business, or joint ownership of a partnership, limited liability company, or closely held corporation is defined as:  Gross Receipts – Ordinary and Reasonable Expenses Required for Operations*=Self Employment Income.

*Ordinary and reasonable expenses of self-employment or business operations necessary to produce income

DO NOT INCLUDE:

  1. Excessive promotional, travel, vehicle, or personal living expenses, depreciation on equipment, or costs of operation of home offices; or
  2. Amounts allowable by the Internal Revenue Service for the accelerated component of depreciation expenses, investment tax credits, or any other business expenses determined by the court or the jury to be inappropriate for determining gross income.

In general, self employment income and expenses from operation of a business should be carefully reviewed.  Generally, the gross income amount of self employment income will differ from a determination of business income for tax purposes.  Partnership shares of businesses reflected in income tax returns may also be considered by the courts when calculating child support. (Appling v. Tatum, 295 Ga. App. 78 (2008)).

C.  Fringe Benefits.  Fringe benefits for inclusion as income or “in kind” remuneration received by a parent in the course of employment, or operation of a trade or business, SHALL be counted as income IF the benefits significantly reduce personal living expenses, INCLUDING, but not limited to:

  1. Use of a company car,
  2. housing, or room and board

Fringe benefits SHALL NOT INCLUDE employee benefits that are typically added to the salary, wage, or other compensation that a parent may receive as a standard added benefit, including, but not limited to:

  1. employer paid portions of heath insurance premiums or
  2. employer contributions to a retirement or pension plan

D.  Variable Income, INCLUDING:

  1. Commissions,
  2. bonuses,
  3. overtime pay,
  4. military bonuses, and
  5. dividends

Variable income SHALL BE AVERAGED by the court or the jury over a reasonable period of time consistent with the circumstances of the case and added to a parent’s fixed salary or wages to determine gross income.  When income is received on a irregular, nonrecurring, or one-time basis, the court or the jury MAY, but is not required to, average or prorate the income over a reasonable specified period of time OR required the parent to pay as a one-time support amount a percentage of her or her non-recurring income, taking into consideration the percentage of recurring income of that parent.

Military compensation and allowances.  Income for a parent who is an active duty member of the regular or reserve component of the United States armed forces, the United States Coast Guard, the merchant marine of the United States, the commissioned corps of the Public Health Service or the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration, the National Guard, or the Air National Guard SHALL INCLUDE:

  1. Base pay;
  2. Drill pay;
  3. Basic allowance for subsistence, whether paid directly to the parent or received in-kind; and
  4. Basic allowance for housing, whether paid directly to the parent or received in-kind, determined at the parent’s pay grade at the without dependent rate, but shall include only so much of the allowance that is not attributable to area variable housing costs.

Except as determined by the court or jury, the following SHALL NOT be considered income for the purpose of determining gross income:

  1. Special pay or incentive pay
  2. Allowances for clothing or family separation, and
  3. Reimbursement expenses related to the parent’s assignment to a high cost of living location.

EXCLUSIONS FROM GROSS INCOME

The following are excluded from gross income for purposes of calculating child support. (O.C.G.A. § 19-6-15(f)(2).

  • Child support payments received by either parent for the benefit of a child from another relationship;
  • Benefits received from “means-tested public assistance programs” such as PeachCare for Kids, Temporary Aid to Needy Families (TANF), Food Stamps and Social Security Income received by disabled adult children of deceased disabled workers;
  • Foster care payments paid by the state or an arm of the state agency; and
  • The spouse of a parent or a nonparent custodian’s gross income.

Georgia Child Support Calculation Gross Income – If you have questions about how to use the Georgia Child Support Worksheet when you are determining your gross income or you need help with completing an uncontested divorce – Contact the  Remboldt Law Firm at 404-348-4081.

 For more information on the Georgia Child Support Calculation Gross Income – you may find the Georgia Child Support Worksheet helpful.  Also, if you are considering an uncontested divorce, you may find the Uncontested Divorce Worksheet helpful in moving forward with an uncontested divorce.

 

 

Georgia Child Support Deviations

Georgia Child Support DeviationsGeorgia 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.

Modification Child Support Georgia

Modification Child Support GeorgiaModification Child Support Georgia – When considering a child support modification, you should consider reviewing the Child Support Guidelines , which are statutory, must be considered.  Currently there are five different grounds you can utilize to seek a upward or downward modification of child support.

  1. A substantial change in either parent’s income and financial status.
  2. A substantial change in the needs of the children.
  3. The noncustodial parent has failed to exercise the court ordered visitation.
  4. The noncustodial parent has exercised a greater amount of visitation than was provided in the court order.
  5. An involuntary loss of income.

An action for modification child support is the exclusive remedy for obtaining a change in child support award.  Parents are unable to consent to a modification of child support – the parents MUST get a court order for the child support to be modified.  This includes a modification of provision on payment of medical expenses and health insurance on the children or other financial provision for the children during their minority.

The person seeking a modification must prove one of the above five grounds for there to be any possibility of a modification.  Even then, a revision to the child support amount is not demanded or required to be granted by the court.  Assuming that the petitioner successfully proves one of these five grounds, then he or she must also prove that the revision is also warranted.  The court will generally put the burden of proof on the party who is seeking the modification.

Modification Child Support Georgia – For more information about Modification Child Support Georgia, contact the Remboldt Law Firm at 404-348-4081 for a free consultation.

You may find the Georgia Child Support Worksheet helpful when determining if you should file for a modification or maybe considering the timing of the filing.  Also, if you are considering an uncontested divorce, you may find the Uncontested Divorce Worksheet helpful in moving forward with an uncontested divorce.