Georgia Child Support Laws 2023
The Case For Child Support in Georgia
Child support is a top item for consideration in a divorce with minor children. There are always unfortunate situations when it comes to a divorce and the splitting up of a family. When the unfortunate circumstances arise, it is very beneficial to take the proper steps in order to take care of the most important individuals involved, the children.
Children are too often casualties in a divorce and there is no winner when kids get involved. Although, there is a right way to handle things in order to help minimize the damage being caused, and that is going through the proper channels of finding a competent attorney and finding a way to fund the lives of the children. The future of your children is the most important part of any parent’s life. Hiring a divorce lawyer that can amicably resolve parent conflicts is highly desireable in divorce that involves children.
The Purpose of Financial Support
Child support, at its core, is set to enable the custodial parent to manage taking care of the parent’s children. It is obvious that taking care of children is not inexpensive. The basic child support payment helps with the cost of housing, food, clothing, and routine living expenses. A good divorce settlement has provisions for other expenses such as unexpected medical care, extracurricular activities, and even educational expenses.
Temporary Child Support
When you become separated and work through your divorce the costs of child rearing does not go away. The court can issue a temporary order for child support that goes to help fund the lives and growth of the children stuck in the middle of the separation. These payments are court mandated and deserved to say the least. The amount of money going to the children every month is calculated by the courts and is in line with your financial situation. These funds are paid to allow the kids to go on through life at the same rate they would have if the parents remained together and to make sure they don’t fall off from the lifestyle they have come to realize.
How is Child Support Calculated?
Georgia law requires parents to support their children until the age of 18 or high school graduation, whichever occurs later. While parents are not required to support their children during college, however; this can be negotiated and included in the final divorce decree.
The state uses a child support calculator, which takes the incomes of both parents and applies it to a basic table. However, this is only a basic guide and many factors can affect support obligations — such as the cost of health insurance for the child, the noncustodial parent’s parenting time and other living expenses.
Changing Support Payments
Whether it’s your children turning legal age, or life situations have changed, are ways to affect changes to support payments. If the income level of you or your ex-spouse has significantly changed it may be necessary to revisit the set payment amounts. The process to change any part of your divorce settlement is a divorce modification.
Ending Support Payments
Per the State of Georgia, "Any Georgia court order issued after 1993 establishing child support amounts should provide for support to continue until the child turns 18. If the child is still in high school past the age of 18, support will continue until the child finishes high school or reaches the age of 20, whichever occurs first." However, there are circumstances that can be cause to have support payments terminated outside of the basic laws on support payments. Examples of non-standard reasons for early termination of child support include:
- Custody of minor child changes
- Minor child(ren) become deceased
- Minor child(ren) becomes married or emancipated
- Either parent becomes deceased
In the event of any of these circumstances you do need to petition the court to have the existing child support order vacated. Even with these conditions being fact, without formal dismissal of the child support obligation you could encounter legal problems if you simply stop paying child support.
Hiring an Experienced Support Lawyer
Finding an experienced family law attorney is one of the most important factors in dealing with these kinds of situations because it is worth knowing your rights and the laws when it comes to life altering issues such as a separation or divorce. An attorney knows the ins-and-outs of the process. They will guide you through the challenges and make certain your children are made a priority.