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What Is Child Support And How Is It Determined?

Child support in Georgia is determined by what’s called an income shares model. What that means is the court is going to take the gross incomes of both parties and they put it in an Excel worksheet and there are tables they’ll run through the worksheet and it will come up with a presumptive amount of child support for each parent. You also put in the number of children because that also determines the presumptive amount of child support.

There are other factors that you put in such as the costs of health insurance for the children, extra-curricular activities like travel, baseball and art lessons and things of that nature can influence the amount of child support.

Child care is something that could be very expensive and can really influence the bottom-line number on child support. The worksheet will then present a number that states what each parents’ respective quote cost is in raising the child, but it’s kind of a fictitious number on the custodial parents part because they’re not swapping checks with the non-custodial parent. The non-custodial parent is going to be the one that’s paying the child support but the numbers that are given by the formula, it’ll say, “Here’s father’s child support obligation, here’s mother’s child support obligation.”

What is The Role of Pre-Nuptial Agreement In A Marriage?

Typically, a prenuptial agreement is something that is done in second marriages. Statistically, it shows that people have more prenuptials for the second and subsequent marriages. What you want to do typically with a prenuptial is you want to protect assets that were obtained prior to the marriage. Usually whatever you bring into a marriage is going to be yours anyway, it’s going to be your separate property but things can get co-mingled.

Usually what people do is they will draft a prenuptial agreement which will state, for example, here is my present income. Here are all the assets that I have prior to going into this marriage and then the wife will prepare a financial statement on the same thing.

As part of the prenuptial agreement, both parties have to swear that they have made a true and accurate accounting and disclosure of what their finances are and their assets are. Again, both parties don’t have to have counsel with them or one person can have counsel and the other person not but it will help the prenuptial agreement hold up much better, if it’s ever challenged, if both people had counsel.

In Georgia, a prenuptial agreement needs to be signed by a notary and two witnesses because otherwise it’s invalid.

Once Lawyers Are Hired, Are Both Parties Allowed To Communicate Directly?

Spouses can still talk to each other and we don’t prohibit our clients from talking to their spouses. There are cases where we do advise them against that, but if it’s a generally amicable divorcing situation, I don’t ever tell my client not to talk to the other side.

We do say not to tell your spouse things that we’ve talked about in confidence, and you’ll be surprised, sometimes people will tell their spouse, “Well, my lawyer said that our best strategy is this,” but if it’s parents of children saying, “Let’s sit down and talk about what kind of parenting plan and schedule would work best for us and our children,” I certainly encourage people to do that because they should be the ones deciding.

It shouldn’t be me or the other lawyer and god forbid the court decides, because at that point, the government is deciding what’s best for your kids and not you. So, I encourage people to work out what they can. Of course there are limits to that. We don’t want people talking and then coming up with the idea of, “Well, it seems fair if I have the kids 100 per cent of the time but I don’t pay any child support.” Obviously you’re going too far in the wrong direction as far as people talking and getting along, so it really depends on the topics that are being discussed.

What Happens If One Party Wants To Relocate Out of State During or After A Divorce?

There is a saying here in Georgia, “You can move if you want to but you’re not taking the kids anywhere.” The reason for that is in most of the counties, this is the case in Metro Atlanta area. When somebody files for a divorce, there is going to be an automatic restraining order that goes into effect and that simply means that both parties are going to be restrained from doing certain things such as taking the children out of the jurisdiction of the state for purposes other than short vacations.

If there is a divorce filed and somebody leaves the state with the children after that divorce has been filed with the purpose of trying to relocate, they’re going to be in big trouble with the court until a court issues an order establishing custody, then of course that’s a different but until there is an order that establishes some kind of custody, then neither party needs to be leaving the state with the children.

For more information on  Determining Child Support, a free initial consultation is your next best step. Get the information and legal answers you’re seeking by calling (770) 271-1843 today.

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