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Georgia child support: Experienced counsel can make big difference

One element in many Georgia divorces that many people don’t understand well is how a court determines child support. This is a matter that is obviously of great importance where children are involved, and a number of factors can enter in when an evaluation is made on how much a paying parent must provide and how much a custodial parent is entitled to receive.

That determination is not subjectively made on judicial whim, but, rather, pursuant to enumerated factors set forth as provided for under the state’s Child Support Guidelines. A worksheet must be filled out, and anyone who has ever engaged in the process -- even the professionals who do so routinely -- will readily acknowledge that the guidelines can be challenging.

They can also provide for opportunity, with the input of an experienced family law and divorce attorney often being able to make a material difference in a support outcome.

Experienced legal counsel can help identify many areas that are relevant and can make a big difference in support in many cases. Is there a child with special needs? Does the divorce involve significant assets? A family-owned business? A number of stocks and retirement accounts?

Income is central to the equation, and it can sometimes be a chore to identify and properly state it. A case in Ohio that is now before that state’s Supreme Court, for example, is focused on the question whether perks provided a parent by his employer -- an automobile, cell phone, sports tickets and so forth – qualify as income, with the effect that they increase child support duties. The petitioner, unsurprisingly, says that the perks should not be considered in support calculations. The mother receiving support says they most decidedly should, even if they are not cash.

These and similar considerations can arise in support matters. An experienced child support attorney can identify relevant issues and help a client obtain equitable results that fully promote his or her best interests.

Source: The Columbus Dispatch, "Dad doesn't want his perks to count in calculating child support," Catherine Candisky, June 12, 2013

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