Atlanta, GA High-Income Child Support Lawyer

Parents are responsible for providing for their children financially. When the parents live separately, the parent the children live with most of the time usually receives money from the other parent. This is known as child support, and these payments are court-ordered and based on a formula that considers each parent’s income and other factors.

When a parent earns substantially more than average, the formula that determines child support in most circumstances might not produce an appropriate level of support. In that case, a family court judge might consider a deviation. An Atlanta, GA high-income child support lawyer from our firm can help a parent achieve their goals in a child support dispute.

Child Support Is Determined By a Formula

The child support guidelines calculate a support amount based on each parent’s net income, the number of children they support, and other factors. The guidelines are meant to reflect the amount that the parents would likely spend on their children if they lived together. The idea is that the children’s lifestyle should not change just because their parents do not share a home.

When one or both parents earn substantially more than average, the maximum amount the formula provides might not be enough to provide the kind of life the children are used to. In those cases, a family law judge can deviate from the formula when making a child support award.

The amount of the deviation depends on multiple factors and the judge’s discretion. A skilled Atlanta, GA attorney can present persuasive evidence to influence a judge’s decision on the amount of child support deviation in a high-income situation.

How Family Law Handles High-Income Parents

Georgia’s child support guidelines reflect income levels ranging from $800 per month to $30,000 per month. The Official Code of Georgia §19-6-15(i)(2)(A) says that when parents’ combined adjusted gross income exceeds $30,000, the child support amount the formula provides is the starting point. The judge can adjust the amount upward to reach a figure that will enable the children to maintain their lifestyles.

The adjustment is discretionary, meaning the judge does not have to increase the child support amount. In a case where both parents are high earners and the children spend substantial time with each parent, there may be no justification for a higher child support amount.

There is sometimes controversy between the parents about the amount of their adjusted gross income and whether they qualify for a high-income deviation. In such cases, it is critical to work with an Atlanta, GA attorney from our firm with substantial expertise in high-net-worth child support cases.

Negotiated Settlements Can Resolve Child Support Disputes

Parents do not need to go to family court to resolve child support disputes. Negotiating a solution through their attorneys or with a mediator is usually a better solution. Doing so provides privacy and ensures the arrangement provides an appropriate amount to support the children’s accustomed standard of living.

Parents cannot agree to an amount that is below the threshold for their combined income. Child support is the right of the child, not the parent. That means that even if a parent has plenty of money and does not need or want child support, they cannot waive it. The other parent must make appropriate financial contributions to the children’s upbringing.

However, the parents can tailor arrangements to suit their circumstances. For example, they could agree that the paying parent pays only the formula amount as child support, but also is responsible for private school tuition and contributions to a college fund. Whatever arrangements the parents make, a family law judge must review the arrangement and confirm it is in the children’s best interests.

Consult an Atlanta Attorney About Child Support for High-Income Families

Even though the amount of child support required is decided by a formula, when a couple has significant resources, upward deviations are common. However, a request for a deviation can lead to bitter disputes.

An Atlanta GA high-income child support lawyer can advise you on these matters. Our team can work to resolve the issue out of family court if possible or make compelling arguments to the judge if litigation is necessary.

Do not allow a child support dispute to fester. Reach out now to speak with a dedicated advocate.

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