Child support is based on the principle that both parents have a legal and moral obligation to support their children. Georgia’s child support guidelines rely on both parents’ income to determine the amount that one parent pays to the other; but the actual calculation is much more detailed and complicated. Work with a Gwinnett County child support lawyer at the Ward Law Firm to make sure you pay or receive a fair amount based on your income and your child’s needs.
How does Georgia calculate child support amounts? Gwinnett County child support lawyer David J. Ward explains
Georgia has specific guidelines that detail how the court will determine the amount of child support. It considers several types of income and expenses for both parents to arrive at a combined adjusted Income. This figure, as well as the number of children involved and other factors, will determine the child support amount.
A lot goes into determining the amount of child support that one of the parents must pay. It is good to have an attorney on your side who can ensure that the court has all of the proper information and considers all relevant factors to arrive at a fair amount.
Read our page on income and expenses considered to calculate child support in Georgia for a detailed description.
How long must a parent pay child support?
The parent ordered to pay child support is responsible for paying it until each child reaches age 18. However, if the child is still in high school, the child support order requires the parent continue paying until the child graduates or turns 20 years old, whichever happens first.
Can a child support order be modified?
Over the years, the children’s needs or each parent’s ability to pay may change. If this happens, parents can petition the court for a child support modification. The petitioner must offer acceptable proof that a substantial change to the in-force child support order is appropriate.
Common reasons for modification can include:
- A parent lost a job.
- The child moves in with the parent paying child support.
It is important to request and get approval for a child support modification prior to stopping payments, though. Failing to pay could leave the parent in violation of the court order and subject to appropriate penalties.
What options are available to enforce a child support order?
The Division of Child Support Services of the Georgia Department of Human Services (DCSS) assists with child support enforcement. DCSS may garnish wages or take other action to compel payment of child support. Those in need of help can take advantage of local resources in the area, and should speak with a child support attorney in Gwinnett County for assistance.
Where can I get help with my child support issues?
Talk to Gwinnett County child support lawyer David J. Ward.
The Ward Law Firm can assist with child support issues arising from divorce, paternity, custody, and modifications. Attorney David Ward is familiar with Georgia’s child support guidelines and can assist you during the establishment of the initial order, or can help you modify or enforce an existing order.
Call us at 770-383-1973 or contact us online to schedule a REAL case analysis with a Gwinnett County child support lawyer.