Georgia judges determine child support based primarily on children's reasonable needs, and the parents' combined income. Courts use the Child Support Guidelines to come up with a Basic Child Support Obligation (“BCSO”), which is the starting point for determining a final child support amount. Each parent is generally responsible for a portion of the BCSO based on their share of both parents' combined income. The judge will then make adjustments to the BCSO or a parent's child support obligation based on other factors. Courts consider many factors when calculating child support, including each of the following:
- childcare expenses
- health insurance
- unreimbursed medical expenses
- private school expenses in some cases
- a child's disability
- parents' high income, and
- any other factors that the court deems relevant to child support.
Failure to pay child support according to a court order can result in judge holding a parent in contempt of court. In some cases, failing to financially support a child may also result in criminal charges of “abandonment.” As a prominent Georgia judge once explained, “The child eats before the parent eats.”
If you need to establish or modify child support, schedule a consultation with Aaron today.