Child Support may be ordered to be paid by the non-custodial parent or by the joint custodial parent who has the higher income in a divorce case, paternity case, or legitimization case involving a child or children who were born out of wedlock. The Georgia courts are required to determine the amount of child support to be paid by considering many factors and then applying the Georgia Child Support Guidelines.

One of the most important determinations that must be made by the judge or jury in deciding an award of child support is the finding of how much each parent’s gross income is. This figure may be determined based upon the evidence presented in the form of testimony and may be based upon the documentary evidence admitted into evidence such as:

  • Pay stubs
  • W-2’s
  • 1099’s
  • Tax returns
  • Bank statements, and
  • The Domestic Relations Financial Affidavit which is required to be filed in the case.

There are other factors that also may be taken into account. If one parent provides health, dental, and/or vision insurance, the amount it costs that parent to provide the portion of such insurance for the child may be a consideration in what the child support award should be. There are other factors such as:

  • Child care expenses required to allow a parent to work
  • Summer camp expenses
  • Tutoring
  • Extraordinary medical expenses, and
  • many other factors which may be considered in determining child support.

An experienced Marietta family lawyer can make a big difference in the factors which are considered and ultimately the amount of child support which is awarded.


In Georgia, a person can have either a judge or jury decide the issue of how much child support should be paid. In most cases, the issue is decided by a judge. Judges are much more familiar with the factors to be considered in deciding the child support award, and in applying the applicable guidelines as they handle such cases frequently.

However, there may be certain reasons that a party wants the jury to decide the issue. Juries are the deciders of the facts such as the gross income of the parties and then are told by the judge what the law is, and they are then supposed to apply the law to the facts that they find and come up with the amount of child support that is ordered to be paid.

Once child support has been ordered, if the parent who has been ordered to pay the child support does not do so, then the other parent has several ways that the child support can attempt to be collected. A garnishment action can be filed if the child support has not been paid for more than 30 days.

An income deduction order can be requested and if issued, then sent to be collected by the employer of the parent who is supposed to be paying. A contempt action can be filed to ask the Court to require the non-paying parent to pay as ordered or risk facing incarceration. An experienced family lawyer can help with the decision regarding what child support is ordered and then in collecting it if not being paid.

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If you are concerned about child support obligations, call 770-795-9596 or contact us online to set up your initial consultation with our Marietta child support attorney. For our clients’ convenience, we accept all major credit cards.