Directions for Filling Out Child Support in Georgia

By Beverly Bird

At first glance, Georgia’s child support worksheet appears intimidating because it includes so many schedules. However, the schedules only help you arrive at the correct numbers to use in the worksheet. When you file for divorce, and if you have children, you must file this form with your complaint for divorce to initiate divorce proceedings. The Georgia Division of Child Support Services introduced an interactive form on its website in 2011, but you can also print it out and complete it by hand.

At first glance, Georgia’s child support worksheet appears intimidating because it includes so many schedules. However, the schedules only help you arrive at the correct numbers to use in the worksheet. When you file for divorce, and if you have children, you must file this form with your complaint for divorce to initiate divorce proceedings. The Georgia Division of Child Support Services introduced an interactive form on its website in 2011, but you can also print it out and complete it by hand.

Monthly Adjusted Incomes

Georgia's child support worksheet begins with income information. You don’t have to worry about which parent is “custodial” or “non-custodial” at this point. The columns are broken down for “mother” and “father.” Enter each of your gross incomes in Section 1 first. Use Schedule A to identify what sources of income you must include and what deductions you're permitted. In Section 2 of the worksheet, you can adjust your gross incomes for special circumstances, such as if you’re self-employed or already paying child support for another family. Completing Schedule B will help you arrive at the correct number for this section. In the last column under both of these sections, enter the combined total income for you and your spouse.

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Percentage of Incomes

The next section of the child support worksheet, Section 3, identifies the percentages you and your spouse contribute to your combined monthly income. For example, if your adjusted income in the second section is $2,000 a month and your spouse’s adjusted income is $6,000 a month, your combined adjusted income is $8,000. You earn 25 percent of that and your spouse earns 75 percent.

Basic Child Support Amount

Next you must determine how much of your combined adjusted income the court wants you to set aside for your children’s needs. This is very simple because Georgia publishes charts based on the number of children you have. You can access the chart online, through legal websites or the court’s website. If your combined adjusted gross income is $8,000 and you have two children, Georgia mandates that your children have a right to $1,567 of that total. Enter this number in Section 4. If you earn 25 percent of the combined adjusted income and your spouse earns 75 percent, you would be responsible for $392, or 25 percent of $1,567. Your spouse would be responsible for 75 percent of $1,567, or $1,175 a month. Enter these numbers in Section 5. These are your pro rata shares of the support obligation. The custodial parent pays her percentage amount directly toward shelter and food costs and the non-custodial parent pays his percentage amount to the custodial parent.

Add-Ons

Sections 6 through 8 of Georgia’s child support worksheet relate to add-ons for child care costs while the custodial parent works and health insurance premiums for your children’s coverage. Completing Schedule D will show you how to arrive at the proper percentages of these costs to be added or subtracted from your pro rata shares, depending on whether you’re the parent making these payments. Enter the result in Section 9, your “presumptive amount of child support.” This is the amount of child support payable from the non-custodial parent to the custodial parent, assuming your family has no special circumstances you want the judge to consider.

Deviations From Guidelines

Extraordinary circumstances allow you to request a deviation from the presumptive child support amount. For example, you may be the non-custodial parent and you’re paying the mortgage on the home where your children live. In situations such as this, you can complete and attach Schedule E to bring the information to the attention of the judge. This might lower your child support obligation because you're already paying for their shelter needs. Enter the adjusted numbers for unusual circumstances in Sections 10 and 11 of the worksheet. If any of your children receive Social Security, these amounts go in Section 12 and will affect your overall child support amount. Section 13 is your final child support obligation.

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