Ordway Law Group, LLC
Ordway Law Group, LLC
Divorce & Family Law

What determines how much child support you owe?

On Behalf of | May 19, 2022 | Divorce |

If you are divorcing your spouse and have children, the court will most likely order you or your spouse to pay child support.

Methods for calculating child support vary by state. Most U.S. states, including Georgia, use the income shares model.

Income shares model

The income shares model calculates child support obligations based on expenses and both parents’ income. This is different from the percentage of income model, which considers only the non-custodial parent’s income.

Based on this method, you will generally owe child support if your income exceeds that of your former spouse. However, the court considers other factors in determining the amount.

Child support adjustments

Calculating child support payments is not just a mathematical process. Per Georgia’s child support guidelines, the court can adjust the amount based on various circumstances.

Parenting time deviation

The court may consider your custody arrangement. If you are a noncustodial parent, the court might raise or lower the amount based on how much time your child spends in your care.

Special expenses

Special expenses to consider may include:

  • Summer camps
  • Sports
  • Music lessons
  • Travel

The court might adjust your child support obligation to cover such expenses.

Non-insured or extraordinary medical expenses

If your child requires medical treatment or devices that insurance doesn’t cover, the court can consider this in calculating child support payments.

Should you, your child or your former spouse incur emergency medical expenses, the court may adjust the amount temporarily to continue meeting your child’s needs.

If you are a higher-income parent in a divorce, you should expect to pay child support. The amount you pay will depend on your circumstances and what your child needs to thrive.

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