By Michael D. Barber, Georgia Lawyer specializing in DUI, Drug Charges & Criminal Defense
After your complete fight for custody over your children child support is going to be a large issue in your case. In then end, you will either be paying it or receiving it.
Courts really do not get involved in the amounts of child support that will be paid. This mostly turns out because of the involvement of Federal government. Since the states receive federal aid, the states must follow standards in their child support statutes to determine amounts regarding child support.
Calculating Child Support
There is generally a formula and/or spread sheet that is used to calculate child support. Typically, calculations are based upon three main factors: the parents’ income, the percent of time each party has the children, and the number of children involved.
Dispelling “Deadbeat Dad” Label
The oft-used term “deadbeat dad” conjures up an image of a father who neglects to support his children emotionally or financially. Not every dad who does not fulfill his child support obligation can be construed as a “deadbeat.”
The law recognizes this distinction. Inability to pay is a valid defense to a contempt action. Simply showing that you are unemployed, though, is not sufficient to establish an inability to pay.
Related Article: Deconstructing The Myth Of The ‘Deadbeat Dad’
What If You Can’t Pay Child Support
The inability to pay child support does not necessarily mean that you are intentionally violating your order for child support. Sometimes the inability is referred to as financial hardship. Unfortunately not paying child support can also result in a suspension of driving privileges in addition to dealing with the court system and possibly DFACS. You may have numerous reasons for your financial hardship, but they may not entitle you to reduce your child support obligations. For instance, a simple loss of income may not be enough to reduce your obligations.
Related Article: Unemployed and Broke: How Can I Lower My Child Support?
Child Support and College Expenses
If you are divorced, depending on the state where you live, the court could order you to pay for your adult child’s college education – something a court could never order a married couple to do.
Related Article: Does Child Support Cover College Expenses?
Modifying Child Support
When your original child support obligation is determined the things considered are dictated by statute. Based on the original circumstances of your case or a combination of factors these obligations may change.
The ways to tell if you can change or modify the amount of your child support is determined by evaluating all the information used in the initial calculation and to see if they have changed or no longer valid.