Savannah GA Child Support Lawyer
Georgia Child Support
If you are involved in a child support case in the Savannah area, then call an experienced Georgia divorce lawyer now.
As a parent, if you do not have legal or physical custody of your child you may be required by the court to pay child support. The process by which child support is determined may seem complicated and unfair to some people, but it is actually quite an organized and fair means of making sure the best interests of the child is being meant.
Determining child support and who is responsible for paying it.
In most cases, the parent that does not have custody will be required to pay child support to the parent who does have custody of the children. Either the mother or father of the children could be ordered to pay, and the parent who does have custody is expected to contribute to the expenses of raising the children.
In general, the legal guidelines in Georgia is that, the support of the child must be paid until the child turns 18 or graduates from high school. If a child dies, gets married, or joins the military, the support will end. In addition, if your rights as the parent of that child are terminated, your child support would end as well. The money paid by the non-custodial parent could include money for health insurance, school tuition, school uniforms and supplies, and other miscellaneous expenses.
The guidelines for how much child support should be paid take into account the age of the child, medical costs, school tuition, and how much each parent earns. The court will also look at whether one of the parents has to support another household, or has another family to maintain. The court will also take into account whether either of the parents are paying child support from a previous relationship or has a high debt load.
Each parent will be required to file out a Financial Affidavit and file it with the court. The calculations that determine child support change rapidly as new legislation is enacted and the appellate court hears new cases. You attorney can help you determine the right amount of child support to be paid based upon the current laws and your individual circumstances.
Normally child support payments are made monthly, although the court may order separate arrangements to be made to pay for school tuition and other expenses. If both you and your spouse agree on the amount of support to be paid, it could help avoid a lengthy litigation process. Keep in mind, that even though you may agree on the amount of support, the court has the right to throw your agreement out if it finds it to be inadequate and not in the best interest of the child.
The law in Georgia does allow the judge to order that a portion of your spouse’s paycheck be paid to you in order to force your spouse to comply with the child support payment order.
Standard Guidelines for Child Support in Georgia
In Georgia, the law requires that the court award child support based upon a certain percentage of that parent’s gross income, minus any other support that parent may be paying.
To access Georgia’s current Excel™ electronic calculators, please select this link:http://www.georgiacourts.gov/csc/. You will be taken to the Child Support Commission’s host site where you may download the Excel calculators, paper copies of the worksheet and schedules, along with other useful resource materials related to Georgia’s Child Support Guidelines statute found at O.C.G.A §19-6-15.
The new Child Support Guidelines will apply only to an order pending Establishment or Modification as of January 1, 2007, and only to new actions filed for Establishment or Modification on or after January 1, 2007. Child Support Orders are not automatically reviewed for modification with the implementation of the new child support guidelines law. Information regarding Georgia’s Child Support Guidelines can be found on the Child Support Guidelines Commission web page at: http://www.georgiacourts.gov/csc.
Changing a Child Support Order
If you are the parent paying support for the child and you lose your job, the court may reduce the amount of support you have to pay until you gain employment. In addition, if your child was attending private school, and is now attending a public school, the judge may reduce the amount of child support you have to pay to reflect the fact that you are no longer paying for school tuition.
If both you and your spouse agree on a change ot the support being paid, you should put this agreement in writing and make sure you both sign it. That way there is no misunderstanding in the future.
If your child is visiting you for an extended period of time, the judge may lower the amount you have to pay during the child’s visit.
If an unexpected expense arises, there may be language in the original support order that addresses the issue. If not, you and your spouse can come to an agreement on how that expense is to be paid and put it in writing.
If you and your spouse can’t agree on how the unexpected expense is to be handled you can take it to court and let the judge decide the issue for you.
Health and Life Insurance as Part of a Child Support Order
Normally, the courts will order one of the parents to provide insurance for the child in order to make sure the child will be properly cared for. It’s not uncommon for the judge to also order that one or both parents maintain a life insurance policy on themselves naming the child as the beneficiary.
College Education for the Child
While paying for your child’s college education or providing money for your child’s education could be put into the divorce agreement, the court can’t force either parent to pay the college tuition for a child.
If you are facing a child support dispute in the Savannah GA area, then call a seasoned lawyer at or fill out our feedback form.