Noncustodial parents in Georgia are expected to provide their children with financial support until they reach the age of 18, and the state’s child support law was put into place to ensure that they do. Child support obligations are sometimes seen as unfair or even punitive, but the rules in Georgia have been designed to be as equitable as possible. The Atlanta child support lawyers at Bell & Washington can help you reach a favorable outcome in your child support case.
Experienced Family Lawyers Fighting for Your Child Support Case in Atlanta
Child support can only be ordered after paternity has been established. Genetic testing is used to clear up any confusion when there is a dispute over paternity, and court orders may be issued to obtain a tissue sample. Paternity must also be established before noncustodial parents can initiate legitimation proceedings to pursue child custody or visitation rights.
This is a complex legal area, which is why we recommend that noncustodial parents contending with these issues should consult with an experienced Atlanta child support lawyer at the Bell & Washington Law Firm for assistance as soon as possible.
Ask an Atlanta Child Support Attorney: How is Child Support Calculated in Georgia?
Georgia uses what is known as the Income Shares Model to calculate child support. This means that the incomes of both parents are considered. To determine the appropriate monthly payment, the court follows the following steps:
- Calculate each parent’s monthly income: This is done by combining income from employment and other sources like Social Security benefits and then subtracting qualifying deductions.
- Figure out the percentage each parent earns: Once the incomes of each parent have been established, these figures are combined and the contribution each of them makes is calculated.
- Determine the basic child support obligation: The state provides judges with a Basic Child Support Obligation Table to make this easier. This table tells judges how much money is needed to adequately provide for up to six children based on incomes ranging from $800 to $30,000 per month.
- Calculate each parent’s share: Judges do this by taking the figure from the Child Support Obligation Table and multiplying it by the percentage of the combined monthly income earned by the noncustodial parent.
Our team of experienced Atlanta child support attorneys can help you determine if you’re paying or receiving a fair amount of child support.
Making Child Support Payments in Georgia
Child support payments in Georgia are usually deducted from the noncustodial parent’s paycheck by the Georgia Department of Human Services Division of Child Support Services. This ensures that there is a record of the payment, and that the money reaches the custodial parent. When this is not possible, noncustodial parents can mail their monthly payments to the DCSS or pay online using a debit or credit card.
Modifying Child Support Orders in Georgia
The amount of child support that noncustodial parents in Georgia are required to pay can be increased or reduced if there is a significant change in circumstances.
These changes are usually made when one of the parents involved suffers a financial setback or takes a job with a higher or lower salary, but modification petitions may also be granted when the needs of the child change.
Parents are generally only able to request a child support modification every two years, but exceptions are made if there has been an involuntary loss of income, or the visitation arrangements have changed.
The Atlanta child support lawyers at Bell & Washington can explain these rules more fully and advocate on your behalf during child support modification hearings.
Resolving Child Support Disputes in Atlanta
Disputes over child support are sometimes contentious, and it is not uncommon for parents to conceal sources of income or take jobs that pay very little just to reduce their monthly obligations.
With over five decades of combined experience, the Atlanta child support lawyers at Bell & Washington have helped to resolve many such disputes. Our Atlanta child support attorneys will work tirelessly to ensure that your children receive the support they need and that everyone involved is treated fairly.
Contact the Child Support Lawyers at Bell & Washington in Atlanta Today
If you would like to learn more about the child support process in Georgia or schedule an initial consultation, you can call our Atlanta child support lawyers at 404.437.6641. Alternatively, you can use our online form to reach out, and we will quickly get back in touch with you.