When Cupid Gets it Wrong Pt. 2: Child Support 101

 

Raising children can be difficult at times; you want to make sure they are taken care of, regardless of what’s going on in your life.

The important thing to remember is despite the separation of you and the child’s other parent, no matter the ups and downs you may experience, your children are going to be taken care of—this is the purpose of child support.

Child support is essentially a court-mandated way to ensure that your child is financially cared for. It is solely for the benefit of the child, and the right to this support cannot be waived by either parent.

How does it work?

Child support is not designed to be oppressive for parents. As we discussed in When Cupid Gets It Wrong Pt. 1: Basics of a Divorce in Georgia, Georgia’s child support laws require both parents to share the financial duty of supporting their child.

Every divorce action involving a child requires the filing of a child support worksheet. The worksheet will factor in both parents’ income and expenses. This worksheet will calculate and assign each parent an income percentage based on the gross income and parental obligations of each parent. After calculating the percentage, the worksheet gives the amount that the non-custodial parent pays to the custodial parent to assist them with living expenses of the child—i.e., food, clothing, and educational needs—health insurance, and any childcare costs.

“Income” includes all sources of income: salary, self-employment, bonuses, rental income, social security, and more.

This shared income method calculates a total cost per month for the care of each child involved, paid until they turn 18, emancipate themselves, or get married. The Court may adjust the amount of child support (either as an increase or a decrease) based on certain factors.

What do the calculations look like?

To get a hands on understanding of the way in which child support is calculated take a look at the following example: Say John and Jane are getting a divorce. The parties have decided that Jane will keep their one child, thus Jane is the custodial parent. Jane, the custodial parent, works part-time and earns $3,000 per month, and John, the non-custodial parent, works full time and earns $7,000 per month. The total gross monthly income for both parents is $10,000 per month ($3000 + $7,000). These figures are plugged into the child support worksheet and John is assigned a 70% income percentage while Jane is assigned a 30% income percentage. Based on these calculations, the child support worksheet calculates the child support obligation to be $1,259 for one child per month. Because John’s income percentage is 70%, then he may be required to pay 70% of the total $1,259 to Jane.

This is the base presumptive total only, things like childcare costs and medical expenses can affect the amount of child support required. Additionally, the amount of parenting time the non-custodial parent spends with the child can affect the amount of child support required.

At the end of the day, whichever way the child support payment is determined, the court will always do what it believes is in the best interest of your child.

Getting support

As you can see from above, obtaining proper child support, or making sure your payment amount is fairly calculated, can be quite a complicated matter.

On top of the complex task of composing your child support worksheet, you may also be faced with added headaches like proving income from an ex-spouse who has gone into hiding, dealing with an ex-spouse who is understating their monthly gross income or is voluntarily underemployed. You yourself may be waiting to receive proper credit for pre-existing child support orders, and in this case time is of the essence.

That is why B Bullard Law is here. B Bullard Law has years of experience assisting clients in creating tailored child support solutions that operate in the best interests of the child and the client. Our client driven firm is more than capable of assisting you in understanding the child support process and its legal requirements.

For top notch assistance in obtaining child support that is fairly calculated and what your child deserves, get in touch with B Bullard Law today at 678-432-1100 or by email at info@bbullardlaw.com. We will make sure your children are supported and their rights are protected. Make a great decision and choose B Bullard Law today. Experience Lead. Quality Rated. Solution Driven.