Child Support in Georgia

Child support is money paid by a non-custodial parent to a custodial parent in order to provide support for the child.  It does not work the other way around.  A custodial parent does not pay child support, period.

Generally speaking, child support is determined by using a calculator provided by Division of Child Support Services (DCSS).  Historically, attorneys used a Microsoft Excel spreadsheet that was used as the calculator, but the judges found that different versions were being used in a non-uniform manner.  So, now the calculator is found online such that everyone has access to the most updated version, and everyone uses the same form.

The child support calculator determines a “presumptive” amount of child support owed.  Essentially, both parties input their respective financial data, how much parenting time they spend, and any other expenses they pay (such as medical care, insurance, day care, etc).  The calculator does the rest and provides the presumptive amount of child support that the non-custodial parent will owe.

However, the results of the child support calculator is nothing more than a recommendation.  The judge can deviate from the recommendation if he or she wishes to do so.  Additionally, the parents can request that the court deviate from the presumptive amount.  But, before the judge will agree to deviate from the presumptive amount, he or she will consider the following:

  1. The best interest of the child being supported;
  2. The circumstances of the parties;
  3. The grounds for deviation; and,
  4. The achievement of 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.

While this all seems fairly straight-forward, it can get complicated fairly quickly.  It is highly recommended that you speak to an attorney to get assistance in determining what to list on the worksheet as income, and whether to request a deviation from the presumptive standards.

Need Help?

Needless to say, a divorce or child support modification can be a daunting process, and it’s okay to Ask for Help.  If you are in the midst of a divorce or are just considering the idea, don’t hesitate to call (912) 525-0555 to schedule your initial consultation. Brad Dixon offers one hour consultations for $100, and if our office is retained to handle your case, that money is applied towards the balance of your next bill, such that your evaluation is free.

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