Child Support/Custody & Modification

Child Support Modification in Georgia

Georgia allows for child support modification every two years or when there are substantial changes in circumstances. Each parent’s gross income determines Georgia child support with subtractions for proven contributions. 

How is Georgia Child Support Calculated?

We use a worksheet predetermined by the legislature to calculate Georgia child support. This worksheet determines the baseline amount of support, considering the gross income of both parents and the number of children in the household. We then divide this number among the parties based on the percentage of income contributed. Suppose one parent makes $2,000.00 per month and the other $8,000.00 per month. You subtract the monthly allocation and division of insurance, extracurricular, daycare, and all other expenses above and beyond the baseline amount according to the contribution percentage. With the above amounts, the individual making $2,000.00 per month would contribute 20%, while the individual making $8,000.00 per month would contribute 80%. 



How do you modify Georgia child support payments?

It is essential to hire an attorney to file for Georgia child support modification if there is a change in these numbers or circumstances.

When the circumstances that initially determined the amount of child support change, the party affected should modify their child support obligation, the most common reason for the difference is losing a job or a substantial decrease in income.

When can I modify child support payments?

When you are under a court-ordered child support obligation, and you lose your job, file for a child support modification immediately. Your responsibility does not go away, and the amount owed will accumulate if you cannot make the court-ordered payments. 



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What if I lose a job?

In the case of involuntary unemployment, Georgia allows for a retroactive child support modification. The parent suffering the loss of a job must file the petition for modification. Changes are permitted to keep any party under duress relief from accumulating amounts they will be unable to pay. 

What if there are fewer expenses for the child?

If the dependent parties’ income substantially increases or issues involved in deviations, such as daycare expenses, are no longer relevant, seek a child custody modification immediately.

What happens if I stop making payments?

 Many people neglect to change their child support obligation when faced with substantial changes and find themselves in contempt situations. Remember that you are entitled to modify your child support obligation. If circumstances have changed substantially, do not think you have to live with the original agreement; change is possible with the help of counsel.



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Child Custody Modification & Child Visitation Modification

Georgia also allows for modifications of child custody or visitation orders. When the court grants an initial custody or visitation order, they use statutory guidelines to determine what is in the child’s(ren’s) best interest.

How do I modify custody?

The court determines the original custody trial based on the evidence presented at a brief custody trial. There are often unforeseen changes that warrant modification. When asked to change its original order, there should be a substantial change of circumstance for the court to consider. 

When can I modify custody?

Usually, this involves some behaviors not presented during the original custody proceedings. These behaviors include; when one parent is involved in drugs, alcohol, or general neglect of the children. Often this consists of a change in lifestyle and living arrangements not conducive to the children’s best interests. It also involves a child who expresses a desire to live with the other parent. 



How do I change custody arrangements?

When you seek to change the custodial arrangement of the children and the other party is not going to consent, the legal threshold is significant, and there must be clear evidence that circumstances warrant this change. This fact is especially true if you seek to bring a third-party custodial action. Georgia allows for a modification of custody action by relatives when parents are determined unfit to continue custody of the children. We highly recommend that you seek the advice of counsel in a situation in these situations. When you believe your child, grandchild, or a child you are close with needs to be in your custodial care, seek an attorney.

How does child visitation modification work?

These matters tend to be very complicated and will involve the presentation of significant evidence, third-party experts, the use of a guardian ad litem, and so much more, depending on your case.

Georgia also permits modification of visitation orders. The threshold of proof is not as demanding as that needed for a custody modification, and the court will look at the children’s best interest. An action for a modification of visitation usually involves a relocation of one of the parents that make visitation difficult or impossible; or a denial of visitation rights by the custodial parent.

The courts understand that circumstances change in any family, especially those navigating separation and divorce. The original order often is not the best.



Hire A Georgia Custody Attorney

Seeking custody or child support modifications is often complex. The best thing you can do for your case is to hire an experienced attorney. Attorney Sean Whitworth has been defending and representing local Atlanta and Marietta, Georgia families for over 15 years. Our Marietta-based law firm understands the ins and outs of family law. Give us a call at 770-415-8500 to book your consultation!