If you are going through a divorce, the situation will undoubtedly not only affect you. It will affect the entire family and others who are in your inner circle. If there are children involved, another layer of complication will inevitably be added to the situation as you negotiate child support.
The first thing that you will want to determine and understand is how child support is calculated so you clearly understand your financial obligations to your child (and to your ex-spouse, who will be receiving the child support on behalf of your child).
How is child support calculated?
Child support is calculated based on the combined income of the two spouses. The final number is derived from a formula that is determined by using worksheets. Considering that each case is different, once the amount of child support is determined, the number can be increased or decreased, depending on the specific circumstances of your particular situation.
In Georgia, the court uses a Basic Child Support Obligation table to establish the initial child support amount. It is important to understand that the table doesn’t include the parents’ work-related child care costs, uninsured health care expenses and health insurance premiums. Those expenses have to be added in the calculations to establish the final child support amount.
Are there possible deviations?
There are possible deviations when it comes to calculating child support. Some of those deviations include the following but it is not an exhaustive list:
- High income
- Low income
- Parenting time
- Expenses for travel
- Unexpected expenses
- Life insurance
If you need an additional tool to help you come up with the correct amount of child support, the Georgia Support Commission has an online calculator that give you the guidelines. It will help you to get an accurate idea about how much child support your child will need.
What is imputed income?
Imputed income is the potential money that a parent may earn in the future if they got a job. The working parent can present accurate evidence of the non-working parent’s potential income. Some of that evidence may include the following:
- Paycheck stub
- Recent tax return
- Other documentation that will help the court to determine that parent’s income
The potential income is based on a 40-hour week at minimum wage. When the court is determining the imputed income, it will take the following factors into consideration:
- The parent’s assets
- Work and earning history
- How and where they live
- Work skills
- Criminal record
- Job climate
Getting the most appropriate legal support
Going through a divorce can be very complicated and stressful. For that reason, solid family law support is essential to you and your child getting through the situation with as little strain as possible. Your goal is to provide as much stability and contentment for your child as possible and to continue to provide a good life post-divorce.
Your family law attorney can create a strategy that is customized to your situation and that strategy will protect your rights and give you the best chance of starting over in the most effective way possible.