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Child Support FAQs


What are child support obligations?

In Georgia, both parents are required to support their children until a child reaches the age of 18, dies, graduates from high school, marries, emancipates or joins the military; however, support can be extended past the age of 18, such as in the case of a child who is still in high school. The noncustodial parent will be required to pay a reasonable amount of child support to the custodial parent toward the child's living expenses. Child support, in addition to a monthly or weekly sum, may also include such items as health insurance and payment of medical and dental expenses. The parties to a divorce action may enter into an agreement settling all questions of child support, instead of contesting the issues before the court. The court may approve the agreement, in whole or part, or refuse to approve it altogether. A decree that provides for child support is enforceable by action for contempt or by execution on property.

What if the child's other parent does not pay?

You have several remedies that may either be used separately or in conjunction with one another. The remedies include:

  1. An Income Deduction Order;
  2. A garnishment;
  3. Contempt of Court; and
  4. Abandonment Warrant for Arrest.

If you think any of these issues are important to you, please contact our office to discuss them in more detail with one of our attorneys.

How is child support determined?

New Georgia Child Support Guidelines went into effect on January 1, 2007. These guidelines take into account the incomes of both parents in determining the child support obligation, as shown in the following example:

Step 1: Gross Income

  • Mother earns $60,000 annually
  • Father earns $40,000 annually

Step 2: Combined Adjusted Income

  • $100,000 divided by 12 months = $8,333.33

Step 3: Basic Child Support Obligation as provided by the table

  • $1,134.00

Step 4: Pro Rata Division

  • $60,000 divided by $100,000 = 60 percent (Mother)
  • $40,000 divided by $100,000 = 40 percent (Father)

Step 5: Presumptive amount of Child Support

  • Mother: $1,134.00 times 60% = $680.40
  • Father: $1,134.00 times 40% = $453.60

What factors may cause variations in child support?

Some factors that may warrant variations in child support include, but are not limited to:

  • Ages of children
  • A child's medical costs
  • Educational costs
  • Day care costs
  • Shared physical custody arrangements, including extended visitations
  • A party's other support obligations to another household
  • A party's own medical expenses
  • The income of the custodial parent

Can a parent receive money for the children's college?

The court cannot order parents to pay for college. However, parents may agree to pay child support beyond the age of 18 or to pay for college expenses.

Speak with a Caring Divorce Lawyer or Family Law Attorney

Get to know our caring family law attorneys with an initial consultation. Please call Stearns-Montgomery & Proctor today at (770) 280-1488 or fill out our simple contact form to set up an appointment. We're available from 8:30 a.m. until 6:00 p.m., Monday through Friday, with evening appointments available by request.

With offices in Alpharetta, Buckhead, Dunwoody, and Marietta, we act as advocates for families throughout the Atlanta metropolitan area, including clients in Atlanta, Marietta, Alpharetta, Dallas, Decatur, Buckhead, Canton, Cumming, Douglasville, Duluth, Dunwoody, Lawrenceville, Milton, Johns Creek, Roswell, Kennesaw, Sandy Springs, and Smyrna.

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