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Child Support

Child support is money paid by one parent to the other parent, but also includes health insurance and payment of expenses such as costs of child care, education and extra-curricular activities.

Child support is money paid by one parent to the other parent on a monthly basis, to provide for the financial needs of the child(ren), but also includes provisions regarding health insurance and payment of other expenses such as childcare, education and extracurricular activities. In addition, the child support order must designate which parent pays what percentage of “uninsured health care expenses,” which include: “health insurance copayments, deductibles, and such other costs as are reasonably necessary for orthodontia, dental treatment, asthma treatments, physical therapy, vision care, and any acute or chronic medical or health problem or mental health illness, including counseling and other medical or mental health expenses, that are not covered by insurance.” See O.C.G.A. 19-6-15.

Monthly child support in the form of cash is calculated using a “Child Support Worksheet,” which is a spreadsheet created and updated by the Georgia General Assembly. Generally, child support in Atlanta is based on the incomes of the parents and the number of children. With that information, the Worksheet uses a formula to calculate what is called a “presumptive” amount of child support. However, that number may be adjusted through “deviations” that are based on factors such as childcare necessary for employment, high or low income, and extraordinary educational or healthcare expenses. These “deviations,” some of which are discretionary (meaning optional) and some of which are mandatory, are often debated and the subject of extensive negotiation during the settlement process or during a trial. 

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