Forsyth County Child Support Lawyer

For many people, getting a divorce can strain their finances. They may need to find a new place to live and pay additional housing costs they did not have before. If they have children, they may need to find new childcare options or new schools.

In many cases, however, parents may be eligible for child support to help their children adapt to a new life. A Forsyth County child support lawyer could answer any questions you may have. The dedicated legal team at our firm could review whether you are eligible for child support, petition a court for support payments on your behalf, and work to get you and your family the benefits to which you may be entitled.

Child Support Laws

Under Official Code of Georgia Annotated §19-6-15, courts calculate child support based on the combined monthly incomes of both parents. The court then determines a default amount of monthly child support according to statutory rules and schedule forms.

However, this statute permits courts to deviate from this default amount for any of the following reasons:

  • A parent with especially high or low income
  • Provision of the child’s health insurance
  • Payment of alimony
  • Parenting time with the child

For example, if one of the parents is paying alimony to the other, then a court may reduce the amount of child support payments relative to the default amount. Similarly, if one parent is already paying for the child’s health insurance, the court may deduct the amount of the health insurance premium from that parent’s child support obligation. A Forsyth County attorney could provide further clarification about what kinds of circumstances might affect an individual client’s child support requirements.

Calculating Income

Calculating each parent’s income is often important in child support cases since the total amount of support obligations is based on income. According to O.C.G.A. §19-6-15, each parent’s income includes the following:

  • Salaries, such as those reported on a W-2 tax form
  • Commissions or tips
  • Overtime pay
  • Bonuses
  • Severance pay
  • Interest or dividend income
  • Workers’ compensation benefits
  • Certain disability or retirement benefits

Additionally, if either parent is self-employed, courts could take under consideration income from their business operations, including consultancy or freelance income, when calculating their child support obligation.

How Are Child Support Orders Enforced?

If either parent fails to pay child support, O.C.G.A. §19-6-30 allows a court to order that parent’s wages to be garnished. Generally, the parent must be behind in child support payments for at least one month for wage garnishment to be an option.

Additionally, Georgia courts have the power to suspend licenses or permits for those who are behind in their child support. Under O.C.G.A. §19-6-28.1, a court may suspend or revoke any of the following for a parent that is 60 days or more behind in payments:

  • Driver’s license
  • Vehicle registration
  • Business or trade license
  • Hunting or fishing license

Can Child Support Orders in Forsyth County be Modified?

Child support orders are not always set in stone. Depending on the circumstances, a child support modification can be requested and obtained, so specific rules governing child support modification requests in Georgia.

Child support modifications may be approved based on the following changes in circumstances:

  • Job loss
  • Income reduction or increase unrelated to a parent’s intentional actions
  • Custody changes
  • Increase in expenses related to the child

In the state of Georgia, a parent can typically only file for a child support modification two years after a previous modification filing. Mistakes can waste valuable time and money, so it is important to get it right the first time with professional help from a child support lawyer in Forsyth County.

Contacting a Forsyth County Child Support Attorney

Child support payments are often invaluable for parents who have just been through a divorce. These payments often help parents get back on their feet financially and cushion the blow of unexpected expenses, such as additional childcare, changes in health insurance, and the like.

To see if you might be eligible for child support, get in touch with a Forsyth County child support lawyer as soon as possible. Our attorneys are familiar with how courts calculate child support payments and could use that knowledge to help you obtain the maximum amount of support possible. Call today to get started.

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