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Georgia child support guidelines: Yes, they're complex, detailed

"[Y]ou should contact a lawyer."

So states a primer on Georgia child support, which duly notes that the state's guidelines in this subject area "are quite complex and detailed."

That of course begs this question: Truly, how arcane and convoluted are those guidelines, and how much information needs to be assimilated before a clear picture emerges on child support duties and related considerations?

It is probably more accurate to state that the guidelines are complicated rather than abstruse and that many people need input from an experienced family law attorney to make much sense of them.

The intrepid can of course make an independent effort to navigate the state's relevant statutory law, with the guidelines being accessible through the Georgia Child Support Commission. Even if legal help is likely to be needed ultimately, the guidelines can be perused for a basic understanding of what is involved in support determinations and the factors that a state judge might reasonably consider in calculating child support.

Following are a few central points to note:

  • An initial determination must be made regarding who is the custodial parent and who is the noncustodial parent, respectively
  • Detailed analysis must be made of both parents' income sources and amounts
  • Offsets to income can be made in certain instances
  • Where deemed applicable, a judge can deviate from a presumptive support amount

Modifications to a support order generally require a party seeking changes to show a material change in conditions that adversely affect an ability to pay a required amount.

Questions and concerns relating to child support can be directed to an experienced Georgia divorce attorney with strong knowledge of the relevant guidelines.

Source: DivorceNet.com, "Child support basics in Georgia," Susan Bishop, accessed Aug. 5, 2014

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