Georgia’s New Child Support Guidelines
When do they take effect?
The new guidelines are effective January 1, 2007 based on Senate
Bill 382 of the 2006 Georgia Legislative Session. The Income Shares
guidelines originally were scheduled to be effective July1, 2006
but this is no longer true. The January 1, 2007 date applies to
all cases, old and new.
Can I apply for
a modification in my award on January 1, 2007?
Not all will be able to immediately apply for a new hearing on January
1, 2007. Whether you can apply for a hearing immediately after January
1, 2007 depends on the advice of your attorney. But some key factors
that apply are whether you or the other parent have had a material
change in income or financial status since your last hearing on
child support or whether there has been a material change in the
child or children’s needs. Additionally, if you asked for
and had a hearing for a modification within the past two years,
you may have to wait for two years since that last hearing. There
are exceptions to the two-year rule.
How can I find the new
Income Shares guidelines?
Bill 382 of the 2006 Assembly defined the initial guidelines.
Bill 483 the 2008 Assembly made minor changes effective July
1, 2008. The resulting complete statute can be found in the Georgia
Code after July 1, 2008. Search for Section 19-6-15.
What happened to the parenting
time adjustment in the new Income Shares guidelines?
Unfortunately, legislative politics forced the removal of the automatic
parenting time adjustment. Parenting time of the non-custodial parent
is now a generic deviation factor that one can request. The new
guidelines assumes no parenting time for the non-custodial parent,
so theoretically a non-custodial parent could ask for a deviation
when exercising any parenting time. However, the Georgia Child Support
Commission has been given the specific task of looking further at
the issue of parenting time adjustments.
Is there a publicly available
calculator for the new guidelines?
Yes, public calculators can be found on the Georgia Department of
Human Resources web site. Click here.
With the new guidelines,
what are some issues that an economic consultant could help with?
R. Mark Rogers Economic Consulting has consulted for clients in
Income Shares states outside of Georgia for a number of years and
is very familiar with this methodology. Rogers has worked with attorneys
in Income Shares states and is familiar with data needs that can
lead to the best outcome for a case taking into account the needs
of the child and the parents’ ability to pay. Consulting issues
include among others:
- Estimating the outcome of the new guidelines.
- Helping to evaluate if a material change has
occurred since the last child support hearing and to help prepare
economic or financial exhibits to document the material change.
- Determine what deviation factors exist from
a financial perspective.
- Assisting the attorney in data collection
to ensure that financial discovery covers all facets needed to
properly apply the new guidelines and to apply any existing deviation
- Helping to determine a parent’s appropriate
gross income based on various financial factors including among
others: business income, depreciation, fringe benefits, capital
gains, and imputed income. Determining an appropriate imputed
income can depend on market conditions for certain job skills
and educational attainment.
- Evaluate deviation factors such as parenting
time, life insurance, child care tax credits, other child-related
tax benefits, travel expenses for parenting time, and others.
- Create special worksheets to show deviation
factors from a sound financial perspective.