When you've filled in the boxes and clicked on the calculate button, you'll get a rough estimate of the amount of child support that the noncustodial parent will have to pay to the custodial parent.
To calculate the amount of support under Georgia's current child support guidelines, you may also use the official Georgia Child Support Calculator from the state's Child Support Commission. You'll need to sign up, create a login, and create a child support worksheet. This worksheet will be one of the forms that you'll submit to the court along with your divorce papers and request for child support (more on that below).
Georgia's child support guidelines take into account both parents' income, how many children need support, and the amount of time each parent spends with their children. The state presumes that the amount calculated under the guidelines is appropriate, but you may argue that a different amount would be better in your situation. Whether you and the child's other parent have agreed on a support amount that departs from the guideline or a judge decides for you, the judge will have to find that a strict application of the guidelines would be unjust or inappropriate and that a different amount would be in the child's best interests.
Learn more about how child support works in Georgia, including factors judges must consider when deviating from the guidelines, what gets counted as income when calculating support, and adjustments for things like child care and health insurance.
Typically, you'll apply for child support as part of the process of filing for divorce in Georgia. You'll include your completed child support worksheets along with the other divorce papers.
If you aren't married to your child's other parent, you may get help with requesting support by applying for child support services from the Division of Child Support Services (DCSS) in the Georgia Department of Human Resources. If needed, the DCSS may also help with establishing the child's legal paternity or parentage and locating absent parents.
If you're having trouble collecting support payments, the Georgia DCSS can also help enforce court-ordered child support by withholding support from paychecks, intercepting workers compensation benefits and unemployment benefits, reporting delinquent parents to the credit bureaus, revoking licenses (professional and otherwise) and other actions. The Georgia Family Support Registry will collect and process all court-ordered child support payments.
Either parent may request a modification in the amount of child support in Georgia. Generally, you'll need to demonstrate that there has been a significant change in circumstances, such as a parent's involuntary job loss.
You may request a review of your current child support order from the Georgia DCSS. However, the review process could take up to six months (or even longer if the other parent lives in another state). You also have the option of filing a request directly with the court. But without DCSS assistance, you should consider speaking with a family lawyer.