Understanding Child Support Modifications In Georgia
In Georgia, after parents of a child or multiple children divorce, there can be a court-ordered child support payment system put in place. The courts’ goal after divorce especially, one including children, is to guarantee or try to guarantee that children’s lives are affected minimally overall. Child support payments are one way that a court tries and guarantees the children’s best interests.
There are many considerations that courts look to when determining child support and other matters during a divorce and after. These considerations can range from the income of one or more of the parents, the lifestyles the children are accustomed to, and any major changes that can occur after a divorce. This article will go over some factors the court looks at when determining support before and after the initial agreement and how to modify child support payments.
If your ex stops paying child support then you have a few remedies to consider. You should document the lack of support and make sure to contact your family law attorney. A judge will determine the best course of action and contempt of court is possible for enforcing child support.
Initial Support Agreement in Georgia
In Georgia, the initial child support agreement is determined based on a few factors. 3 major factors for an initial child support order are:
First, what are the incomes of the parents? Georgia calculates child support based on what each parent’s monthly income is. There are certain factors that might limit this calculation but in general, this is what the state used as a benchmark.
Second, how many children are there? Depending on the number of children in the divorce the amount of support can increase or decrease. Something to consider is that a pre-existing child support agreement with another party can affect this factor.
Third, the status of each parent in the eyes of the court. There are situations where a parent has physical custody, both physical and legal custody, or both. There are also situations where parents have joint custody and spend an equal amount of time with their children. Georgia courts determine the child support payment with this in mind as well.
In order to modify child support a judge will consider any new circumstances that might have developed since the original agreement.
Modifying Family Law Agreement in Georgia
Georgia law allows for two major factors to contribute to a child support modification in Georgia. In general, a modification to child support payments can be requested after a 2 year period from the previous agreement (including the original agreement). Some things can contribute to a premature alteration to an agreement like a drastic change in income, one of the children becoming an adult, and other factors.
If for example, the non-custodial parent has a drastic reduction in their monthly income, they can petition the court for a modification. The same applies if there is a drastic increase in income. An important consideration in dealing with these matters is that no change is retroactive. Meaning, an increase or decrease in child support payments does not mean you will have back pay for previous support payments.
Atlanta Family Law Attorney
Family law cases are usually some of the most emotionally charged cases a person can go through. To add to this, these kinds of cases have complex legal aspects that an attorney with experience can handle with expertise. The Edwards Law Group prides itself in taking the “ugly” out of divorce cases. If you are going through a divorce or are looking to modify your agreement, we highly recommend you contact an attorney. We are located in Atlanta, Georgia, and work with families throughout Metro Atlanta. Call 770-723-7211 or contact us online to schedule an appointment with a lawyer who will understand your situation and provide realistic, individualized solutions.