A World-Class Legal Team Serving You We'll give your family law matter the attention it deserves.

Atlanta Child Support Attorneys

How Child Support Is Determined in Georgia

Divorces that involve children are often emotionally draining, time-consuming affairs for parents. In cases where issues like child support are on the line, parents are often frustrated by the legal complexity of the divorce and child support process as they try and secure an arrangement that is in the best interests of their children.

At Warner Bates, we can help you navigate your child support case more easily. Our Atlanta child support lawyers possess a wealth of experience handling sensitive issues like child support and can help you develop a comprehensive legal strategy that serves your best interests. To receive a free consultation, fill out our contact form online or give us a call at (770) 766-8148.

How Does Child Support Work in Georgia?

Unlike many states, Georgia uses a specific "income shares model" to calculate child support. Essentially, the model estimates the gross income (more on that in a minute) of both parents, and how much the parents would spend raising their children as a cohesive family unit. The court then splits that cost between the parents, so they each pay an amount proportional to their income.

For example, let's say your gross income is $25,000, and your ex's gross income is $75,000. If the court determined the total cost of caring for your child per month to be $1,000, your ex would pay $750, and you would pay $250.

Your gross income includes most streams of revenue you have. Some examples of things that contribute to your gross income are:

  • Wages you earn for your job
  • Any commissions you may bring in from a side business
  • Military pension or another pension, if you have one
  • Any self-employment earnings you make
  • Retirement account payments and disability payments
  • Any money you bring in from investments

You can, however, deduct certain expenses from your gross income. For example, if you're self-employed and run a business, you can include some of the expenses necessary to operate your business from your gross income.

You can calculate how much you'll pay in child support by using the Georgia Online Child Support Calculator provided by the Georgia government. It's worth noting there are a number of factors that typically play into child support arrangements, such as:

  • Which parent is the noncustodial parent. In most cases, parents involved in joint custody don't have to pay each other child support (unless the court deems it necessary). However, in situations where one parent has custody of the children, the noncustodial parent typically pays the lion's share of child support since they aren't using any money to house or care for the children.
  • How the parents are paying for benefits such as healthcare. Typically, healthcare expenses are split just like childcare expenses are, in proportion to each parent's gross income.
  • The current circumstances of each parent. If the parent responsible for paying a majority of child support loses their job or encounters another financial setback that adversely affects their ability to pay for child support, the court may devise a new child support arrangement. Typically, courts determine child support payments in such circumstances by estimating how much a parent should be able to "reasonably contribute" given their circumstances. This measure is designed to prevent parents responsible for significant childcare payments from trying to shirk their responsibilities by claiming unemployment.

Ultimately, Child Support Arrangements Are Determined by the Court

The court has the final say in any and all child support arrangements. The court can unilaterally decide to ignore the income shares model if they think a case warrants such an action. While it is rare for the court to deviate from the income shares model, part of the reason it's vital to have a good attorney by your side is because, ultimately, the fate of your case is in the court's hands.

Parents can request modifications to their current child support arrangement every two years. Hypothetically, if a situation arises where a parent can no longer feasibly contribute to child support at all, or if the children no longer require support, child support arrangements can be terminated by the court. If a parent refuses to pay their child support payments, their ex can ask the court to enforce payments with a court order. If the parent in question continues to refuse to contribute to child support after being served with the order, they can be taken to court and receive an arrearage judgment, forcing them to pay any child support owed to their ex.

Trust Warner Bates With Your Child Support Case

At Warner Bates, our attorneys are highly experienced at navigating child support cases. In fact, our Atlanta child support attorneys have written two books on Georgia divorce law, including child support:

We update these works annually, and legal professionals from lawyers to judges use them each and every year to understand the ever-changing landscape of family law and divorce in Georgia.

There's a reason other legal professionals trust our advice on family law cases. Our attorneys have almost 300 years (yes, three nearly three centuries) of combined legal experience, allowing us to navigate a variety of complex cases with ease.

Engaging in a child support battle is never easy, particularly if you and your ex are estranged or disagree on how child support should be handled. Our attorneys are here to make sure you get the information and care you need to navigate your case with confidence, no matter the circumstances.

If you're searching for reputable, authoritative legal representation, look no further. Contact us online or via phone at (770) 766-8148 for a free consultation with our team.

Testimonials

See How We've Helped Others Through Similar Situations
  • “Traci Weiss represented me in a very lengthy and challenging custody modification case. She was very responsive to any and all questions during the process, regardless of the time of day or weekend. ...”

    - Marc G.
  • “From start to finish my experience with Warner Bates was extraordinary. The whole team worked seamlessly together so I was never lost between paralegal, and attorneys. They communicated all relevant ...”

    - Rebecca C.
  • “I am so appreciative to Jim McGinnis for his expert handling of my divorce. During this trying and difficult time, Jim was supportive, encouraging, optimistic yet realistic, calming, intuitive, and ...”

    - Joanna V.
  • “I worked with Elinor Hitt during my separation and divorce. She was very understanding of my wants and needs and worked by my side to ensure it was all done! It honestly felt like I was working with a ...”

    - Charlotte M.
  • “Charles Crowe has done a wonderful job of representing me during my divorce proceedings. He was both thorough and caring as we were managing a difficult personal event in my life. After my divorce was ...”

    - Sean F.
/

What Distinguishes Our Firm from Others in Atlanta?

  • Focusing Exclusively on Domestic Law Matters
  • Our Attorneys Wrote the Books on Divorce Law
  • Upholding the Strictest Standards of Confidentiality
  • A Reputation for Integrity, Excellence & Results
  • Nearly 300 Years of Combined Legal Experience

Reach Our World-Class Legal Team

  • Please enter your first name.
  • Please enter your last name.
  • Please enter your phone number.
    This isn't a valid phone number.
  • Please enter your email address.
    This isn't a valid email address.
  • Please make a selection.
  • Please enter a message.
  • AV Preeminent
  • The American Lawyer
  • AAML
  • Super Lawyers