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Child Support

Be forewarned, this area of family law can be hyper-technical, and a little convoluted. But don't fret, our lawyers are here to help. Child support in the state of Georgia is calculated by using the Income Shares Model. Theoretically, under this model a child will receive the same proportion of parental income as if their separated parents lived together under one roof in a unified household.

Adjusted Gross Monthly Income

Under the Income Shares Model, the Adjusted Gross Monthly Income (AGMI) of both parents is considered. AGMI includes both earned and unearned income before any tax deductions. Some examples of AGMI include wages, commissions, retirement, employer bonuses, social security income, capital gains, income from annuities, disability and other sources of passive income. The gross income of either parent may be reduced if a parent is self-employed, has pre-existing child support orders for another child/children, or if a parent is supporting other children living in the home who are not the subject of the case before the court or a pre-existing child support order.

Factoring Support Using the Basic Child Support Obligation Table

In calculating the child support obligation of the household, the adjusted income of both parents is added together into a Combined Adjusted Income (CAI) amount. Using the Basic Child Support Obligation table (BCSO) provided by the Judicial Council of Georgia Administrative Office of the Courts this number can be determined by locating the child support amount which best corresponds with the CAI amount, and the number of children for whom support is to be determined.

Support Obligation of Each Parent/Pro Rata Division

To tabulate each parent's share of support a pro rata division is necessary. This can be achieved by dividing the CAI amount into each parent's adjusted income. The pro rata share is expressed as a percentage. By multiplying each parent's pro rata percentage by the determined BCSO amount each parent's share of the basic child support obligation can be calculated. However, the final amount of child support due by each parent is subject to offset in consideration of additional child rearing expenses such as health insurance and work and non-work-related childcare costs.

Child Support Modification

Complicated, right? Well, if you are attempting to lower your child support payments and it has been at least two years since a judge last signed your pre-existing order, or you have experienced some financial hardship, we may be able to help. Give us a call today.



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