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Georgia’s New Child Support Guidelines

When do they take effect?
Can I apply for a modification in my award on January 1, 2007?
How can I find the new Income Shares guidelines?
What happened to the parenting time adjustment?
Is there a publicly available calculator for the new guidelines?
What are some issues that an economic consultant could help with?

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?
Senate Bill 382 of the 2006 Assembly defined the initial guidelines. With Senate 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 factors.
  • 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.

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