Striking a fair balance.
There is no question that parents are obligated to support their children under the law. The law is meant to be fairly applied so that the children’s interests in having proper financial support are balanced with their parents’ financial ability to support themselves and maintain a meaningful relationship with their children. This balance can often be upset by changing circumstances.
What kinds of changes affect the calculation of child support?
Changes in the lives of either parent – whether the payor or the payee – have an impact on the proper amount of child support. Substantial increases or decreases in income on the part of either parent may trigger a recalculation of the child support amount. Changes in the financial status of either parent, such as the addition of a new child to the parent’s family, may also make a recalculation appropriate. Finally, changes in the needs of the children themselves may call for recalculation.
How is child support calculated?
Child support in the state of Georgia is initially calculated by a complex mathematical formula with many data inputs, including the income of both parents, certain expenditures (such as health insurance expenses for the children’s benefit), and other financial responsibilities of the parents, such as child support obligations to other children. The initial calculations of the formula yield what is called a “presumptive amount” of child support, from which the court may then deviate, whether up or down, upon a proper finding of facts. In other words, the calculation of child support is mostly mathematical, but the court does have discretion to adjust this amount under certain circumstances.
Am I eligible for recalculation?
The law places limits on how often a parent may seek a recalculation of child support. Typically, a parent is only eligible to seek recalculation once every two years. However, there are certain exceptions to this general rule, and an initial consultation is necessary to determine your eligibility.
Child support cases are handled on an hourly-fee basis.