Child Support

Let’s face it, one of the primary reasons that bad marriages exist is because either one or both parents fear that without the other spouse’s income it will not be possible to maintain your children’s standard of living.  Out of love and concern for your children, you want to cause as little disruption to their lives as possible following the divorce.  Because the future support for your children is critical, at The White Law Office, LLC, we examine the factors that affect a child support order and assist you in making decisions that support a positive outcome for you and your children.

How is Child Support Determined

In Georgia, child support is determined using a mathematical formula that takes into consideration the income of both parents as well as the amount of parenting time each parent has with the child.  Depending on both parties’ income, there is a presumptive amount of support granted for the children of the marriage , and each party is responsible for their proportional amount.  Georgia law allows for a deviation from the Georgia child support guidelines and the proportional amount can be affected by additional expenses such as health and medical costs, educational expenses, extracurricular activities and day care.  The deviations from the guidelines are at the discretion of the court.  As such, it is critical for anyone involved in the calculation of child support have an attorney who can review their case according to the Georgia child support guidelines.

For insight into how the initial child support calculation is done, the Georgia Child Support Commission maintains data worksheets for manual and electronic entry for support calculators.

How do I enforce the Child Support Order?

It’s unfortunate, but parents don’t always follow the orders.  If you find after the entry of the child support order the parent ordered to pay support fails to meet the obligation, it may be necessary to enforce the order.  Fortunately, the court understands that those who are dependent on this source of income can suffer emotionally and financially, and those who have failed to pay can face serious consequences.

At the White Law Office, LLC we offer our clients several options when confronted with the non-payment of child support.  When one party fails to meet the requirements set by a court’s order, the other party may file a motion for contempt in the county of the original order and the non-compliant party must defend this action even if there has been a change in circumstances to warrant non-payment.  Georgia law criminalizes the non-payment of child support in some circumstances and additional punishment can result in loss of professional and or gaming licenses.  Wage garnishment or automatic wage deductions are also commonly employed to enforce support orders and can often be less expensive and faster.

What happens if things change?

Life circumstances are certain to change.  With new relationships and additional children, the plans laid out at the time of divorce may not always be feasible years later.  With these changes, support obligations must change as well.  We work closely with our clients to make changes that reflect their changed lifestyles.

If any of the initial circumstances change significantly regarding the needs of the child, the financial circumstances of each parent or the amount of time you spend with the child, parents can seek modification of child support levels.

For example, if a father loses his job or his hours are significantly reduced, he may not be able to meet his support payments.  If a mother moves away and faces a substantial increase in living expenses, the established child support payments may be insufficient.  In cases of modification of child support, the burden of proving the need for modification falls to the parent requesting the change.  If you are seeking or opposing support modification, we provide guidance regarding the feasibility of the proposed changes and advocacy to protect your children’s interests.

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