Family law questions come up often when families are going through issues such as divorce, child custody and child support. It’s not always easy to get the answers you need. But, you need them to make important decisions that will impact you and your family members for the rest of your lives.
At Reeder Law Firm, we receive family law questions on a daily basis. We are happy to help our clients gain clarity and understanding as they navigate this emotional and often overwhelming time in their lives.
To help you with your own pressing family law questions, here are two of the most common child custody questions we receive in our office:
#1 How much child support can I expect to receive?
In the state of Georgia, child support law determines the amount of child support based on income only—not by parenting time figures. The court may deviate from the state’s child support guidelines on a case-by-case basis. However, this typically only happens when the non-residential parent’s visitation time greatly exceeds what is considered standard and customary. In order for the court to consider this, the non-residential parent would have to prove these parenting hours are outside of the norm. Proving these excessive parenting hours would require specific proof, not just parenting time estimates.
Factors to Consider
Here are some additional factors the courts in Georgia will consider as part of the child support formula to come up with monthly payments:
- Residential parent’s monthly gross income
- Non-residential parent’s monthly gross income
- Number of children under age 18 or still in high school living in either home
- Cost of work-related childcare
- Cost of health insurance premiums
- Pre-existing child support or alimony obligation by either parent
Online calculators can help you come up with estimates about child support payments in Georgia. However, to get the most accurate information, it is best to work with a qualified family law attorney. Your attorney can guide you through the process. Also, he or she will answer your questions and give you proper estimates so you can better prepare for your child’s future.
# 2 Do I need an attorney to modify the child support payment amount?
Inquiring about the modification of child support is a common question for parents who are experiencing or anticipating life changes. Common changes that can impact child support include loss of employment, pay increase, a new marriage, or changes in where the child is residing. For best results, you will need to hire an attorney in order to request any adjustments to child support. The court will determine if the desired changes are acceptable, legal and in the best interests of the child.
In Georgia, the court determines what will happen in regard to child support. This includes whether each parent will pay and how much they will pay. After the court orders the child support, the order can only be altered if one of the parents makes a request to the court to modify the original child support order. Finally, to get the court to alter child support orders, you must prove there has been a material and substantial change in circumstances. This is where an attorney will come in to help you prove your case for modification.
The most common reasons for modification in child support include:
- A parent experiencing job loss or another loss of income
- A parent getting a new job with a higher income
- A change in health for the parent or child
- A change in the child’s financial needs
- The court will determine whether the requested modification is justified, fair and best for the health and well-being of the child. The smart plan is to have an experienced family law attorney on your side. That way, you will be able to argue your position for modification in the most effective and persuasive way possible.
At Reeder Law Firm, we are ready and available to answer your pressing family law questions. Call (770) 475-2521 for a free consultation. You can ask family law questions and get the answers you need to move forward.