We are fighters
who will do everything we can to protect your rights and your future.

The attorneys of Daniels & Rothman, P.C.
  1. Home
  2.  » 
  3. Family Law
  4.  » What should divorcing parents know about child support?

What should divorcing parents know about child support?

On Behalf of | Apr 17, 2024 | Family Law |

Parents who are going through a divorce must work to ensure that their children have what they need to thrive. Because raising the kids shouldn’t be the responsibility of only one parent, courts will typically issue a child support order, so both parents are responsible for making financial contributions to raising their children.

If you are divorcing, learning about how the child support guidelines will apply to your specific case can help you to set informed expectations.

How Georgia courts determine child support

In Georgia, child support calculations are primarily based on the income shares model, which considers the income of both parents. Courts begin by evaluating each parent’s gross income, which includes wages, salary, commissions, bonuses, self-employment income and income from rentals or investments.

After determining the gross income, the court adjusts this figure by considering pre-existing child support obligations and alimony payments, the cost of health insurance premiums for the children and any work-related childcare costs.

The combined adjusted income of both parents then determines the basic child support obligation based on a schedule provided by the Georgia Child Support Commission. Each parent’s share of this obligation corresponds to their share of combined adjusted income.

Guidelines regarding medical coverage

The child support order in Georgia typically includes provisions for health insurance, which is typically provided by the parent with access to a reasonable and affordable plan through employment or other means. The cost of health insurance premiums is factored into the overall child support calculation, which splits the expense between both parents according to their income shares.

Extraordinary medical expenses, which can include costs related to surgery, hospital visits, or serious medical conditions, are generally considered separately from regular medical coverage. These expenses are categorized as uninsured medical expenses. Typically, the court orders these costs to be divided between the parents according to their respective income shares.

Coverage of extracurricular activities

Extracurricular activities, while not explicitly included in the basic child support guidelines, are often addressed in the child support order. The court may consider these costs if these activities were part of the child’s routine before the parents’ separation. Some judges may include these costs in the final child support order, especially if the activities contribute significantly to the child’s physical or emotional development.

Child support is often a considerable factor in divorce cases. Understanding exactly what you’re responsible for is critical so you don’t miss paying anything that you’re legally obligated to pay, or receiving anything that your ex is legally obligated to send your way.