Raising children after a divorce or separation often requires both parents to contribute financially. Child support payments are one way parents can ensure their children have everything they need to lead happy, healthy lives. If you are in the midst of a child support case, consider reaching out to an attorney who can help.
Calculating child support in Alpharetta can feel confusing and overwhelming for parents who are new to the process or do not know where to begin. Our dedicated legal team understands what you are going through as they try to build a co-parenting arrangement and have the training, knowledge, and compassion to help you through this unfamiliar situation.
Official Code of Georgia Annotated § 19-6-15 outlines the guidelines the courts use to calculate child support. The process requires many steps, beginning with calculating each parent’s gross monthly income. This figure includes earnings from employment, royalty payments, and even unearned sources like capital gains, dividends, and lottery winnings.
The court may adjust the parents’ monthly incomes to account for things like self-employment taxes and public benefits. The court then adds both parents’ incomes together and puts this into the child support worksheet outlined in the statute. Another part of the equation is to add up the additional expenses of raising the kids, such as childcare costs, health insurance, and out-of-pocket medical care.
Calculating the child support obligation of an Alpharetta parent also takes into account other factors. For example, high-income parents may need to pay more in support than those of limited means. If you have questions about estimating your monthly support payments, you may benefit from talking to a seasoned family lawyer.
Under O.C.G.A. 19-6-15, the Georgia courts have special rules about when people can make changes to an existing child support order. In many cases, you need to wait at least two years before asking the court to modify the agreement. Exceptions to this rule are if a parent involuntarily loses their income (e.g., gets fired) or a noncustodial parent fails to exercise their visitation rights.
Additionally, if a noncustodial parent spends more time with the children than they are allowed to, this may also merit revisiting the order. After the initial two-year window, you can request to modify the agreement if you can show a substantial change in circumstances. For example, a significant change might occur if you or the other parent lose a job or the child’s expenses greatly increase.
The court would review the Alpharetta parent’s request and calculate child support using much of the same process as for the initial order. In some situations, the court may phase in the new arrangement or ask one of the parents to increase their support payments during the proceedings.
Children need essential things like healthcare, education, childcare, food, and housing. In a co-parenting situation, this can put a lot of financial strain on a parent who does not have a second income to help cover the cost. If you and your child’s other parent are no longer together, consider partnering with a child support attorney.
Our seasoned lawyers have years of experience representing parents navigating the often confusing and overwhelming child custody and support legal process. We can provide critical insight and advocacy to you and your children during this time. Contact our firm for help calculating child support in Alpharetta.