Daniele Johnson & Associates

Who Pays Child Support In A Divorce?


If you’ve been asking yourself, “Who pays child support in a divorce?”, we’re here to let you know that the laws have changed quite some time ago when it comes to child support. Prior to the change, it was only the non-custodial parent who was obligated to pay. Child support was based solely on the non-custodial parents’ income. Since then, the formula, and the statute have changed. Now, both parents are financially responsible for the children. A formula is used for child support. Taking into consideration both of the parents’ gross income. Georgia child support is gross income, not net, and many people do not know that. The child support statute also takes into consideration other factors such as health insurance, extracurricular activities and any extraordinary educational/medical expenses. All those costs are inputted into the child support calculator and then at that time, the statute determines how much child support is going to be paid and to whom.

After a divorce, many people are under the misconception that even if you do have a fifty-fifty split, meaning for example, week-on week-off, “Well, then there is no child support”. In Georgia, that is not the case. The statute does give the court the discretion to give a parenting time deviation, however, just because it is fifty-fifty, does not necessarily mean that child support is wiped out altogether. Several factors make that determination of how much is paid, and by whom, to whom.

On What Grounds Can Child Support Payments Be Modified?

The statute, as it stands right now, and keep in mind that is another reason to hire an attorney, because the statute is changing constantly. Case laws are changing. You really need to hire an attorney to keep ahead of all of these changes. I want to say recently that the statute did just change within the last three years. You can only come back for a modification of child support and have to wait the next two years. Even then, you have to show a substantial material change of your financial situation. The case law now says that a substantial change in your financial circumstances will either increase or decrease about twenty-five percent or more of your gross income.

If a child support order is issued, you do have a material change of circumstances, and it has been two years, you can come back and ask for a modification. Similarly however, the person who is receiving the child support amount, if he or she falls on the other side, and the other parent, is making more money, he or she can actually come back and ask for an upward modification. Therefore, it really does depend on the change or the circumstances of your finances.

How Do You Help Your Clients Retain A Rational Mindset In A Divorce Case?

You really have to keep your client as grounded as you possibly can. You can do that by being realistic with their goals. Be upfront and honest. Have a realistic and frank discussion. That is how you keep them grounded. What we do as family law attorneys is we have to sit back and let the clients vent. Remember, they are on that emotional high, and you are paid not to be on that emotional high with them. Therefore, it is okay to listen to them, and take into consideration what they are saying. Take into consideration their true feelings, but in the end, you need to hone in on what are the real issues. What will the judge actually hear, and what would a guardian ad litem consider in making a custody determination.

To keep their emotions at bay is a way that a family law attorney can keep clients focused on the issues at hand. Remaining calm, cool, and focused is how a family law attorney is going to better serve his or her clients.

What Sets You And Your Firm Apart In Handling Family Law Matters?

What sets us apart is the personalized attention that I give to each one of my clients. It is the fact that I intentionally do not have a huge caseload, so I do not miss anything. My strategy, and the reason that I believe I am successful in handling these cases, is my strategy to know all the facts of my cases, and know my client better than the opposing attorney knows his or hers. Listening to your clients, and working with them towards a common identified goal, that is what sets me apart from all the others.

I am always in constant contact with my clients. I am always emailing them or just a phone call away if needed. We are very passionate about the work we do, we care about our clients, their families, and the children, keep in mind that the reason I do this is so that I can help children in particular. Whatever it is I can do to help get our clients to where they need to be, that is what I will do.

For more information on Child Support Obligations In Georgia, a consultation is your next best step. Get the information and legal answers you are seeking by calling (770) 984-5311 today.

Daniele C. Johnson Esq.

Get your questions answered - Call to schedule a consult (770) 984-5311.