Divorce. Child Custody. Child Support. Adoption.
Every state has its own method for calculating child support. The Georgia state legislature has enacted a method that is one of the most complicated of any state.
We start with what is termed the “presumptive” amount of child support. The most basic information you need in order to calculate the presumptive amount of child support is:
(1) Each parent’s gross monthly income (before any taxes or other deductions are withheld);
(2) The cost of health insurance for the children; and
(3) The cost of daycare for each child, broken down into (a) the total cost of daycare for the entire year for each child during the school year, (b) the total cost of daycare for the entire year for each child during school holidays, and (c) the total cost of daycare for each child for the entire summer vacation period.
This information is loaded into the child support calculator and--voila!-- you have the presumptive amount of child support.
The first trick can lie in determining the appropriate gross monthly income, particularly for people who are self-employed, people whose income is variable, people who are unemployed, and military personnel (there is a special section of the law devoted to the appropriate calculation of military pay when determining child support).
Then, after we have calculated the “presumptive” amount of child support, we determine whether “deviations” from the presumptive amount are appropriate. Some of the more common deviations are increases in child support to account for the cost of private school, tutoring, or extracurricular activities, or decreases to take into account the cost of travel for visitation. Obviously, deviations are highly individual; this is where you really need a lawyer who will argue passionately for your cause.
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