When in court for a child custody hearing, one of the main things that is determined is which party will pay child support, and how much they will have to pay. There are a number of different factors in Georgia that will come into play when determining the amount of child support that will be awarded to the custodial parent. Read on to learn about some of the most common things that the courts look at in these cases.
Gross Income of Both Parties
Rather than just looking at the gross income of the non-custodial party, courts look at the income of both parties. If the non-custodial parent earns 50% of what the custodial parent does, the amount of child support awarded will typically be 50% of what it would be had the non-custodial parent earned no money. The incomes and this type of calculation are the primary factors that the courts will look at when determining child support, but they certainly aren’t the only factors.
Child Care Expenses
If both parties are working, the courts will increase the amount of child support awarded to help cover the childcare expenses for things such as daycare. If daycare costs $500 per month, the judge will likely require the non-custodial parent to pay a percentage of that based on the income comparisons used on the gross incomes above.
Any insurance premiums paid for the child(ren) will also be factored in. Only the premiums that apply to the child are considered t in these cases. For example, if a non-custodial parent pays $6000 per year for medical, dental, and vision insurance that covers three people, including the one child being considered for child support, then the total amount considered will be $2000. A percentage of that amount will usually be removed from the total amount of child support, again, based on the difference in income of each party.
Medical, Dental & Vision Expenses
Any co-pays, costs of medications, and other expenses related to the medical, dental, and vision care of the children in question will also impact child support. The courts will typically expect the parties to split these costs up using the same income based percentages. In some situations, this will have a direct impact on child support amounts, in other cases the parties will need to work out splitting the payments among themselves.
Extraordinary Educational Expenses
If there are any type of extraordinary education expenses, the costs will need to be divided up in a fair manner, based on income. This is not very common, but comes into play in situations where the children were attending a private school prior to the divorce, and will continue attending thereafter.
Other Factors/Categories of Deviation
The above list is by no means an exhaustive list of factors that Georgia courts will consider. For example, previous court orders, other children in the household, and extracurricular expenses are also considered when a court calculates child support, among other things. There are many ways that a court may come to a decision. As each child support case varies, each court and judge does also.
Fighting for Your Rights
Whether you’re looking to reduce the amount you have to pay, or maximize the amount you receive, child support cases should be left to an experienced, quality legal professional. Contact the Law Offices of Adam Stein to go over your case so we can begin crafting the best possible arguments to get you the results you need.