PLEASE NOTE: The purpose of this series is to explain some of the general principles of calculating child support under Georgia Law. It is impossible to explain how child support is handled in every divorce case, because each case is unique, with it’s own special facts and circumstances. If you need to have child support calculated for a divorce, legitimation, modification, or any other type of case, you should seek the advice of an attorney to ensure that your case is being handled properly.
Part 3 – Kids are Expensive and Both Parents Have to Pay (Schedule D – Additional Expenses)
There are a lot of expenses associated with children, and Schedule D of the Georgia Child Support Worksheet summarizes two of the most expensive and portions them between the parents. The expenses included are Health Insurance Premiums and Child Care.
Health Insurance Premiums are entered as a total and entered under the parent who is paying the premiums. Many parents need to speak with their employer to determine the appropriate amount to enter into this worksheet, because, prior to divorce, many parents are on some version of a family insurance plan. The key is to determine the premium the parent pays for having insurance just for the parent, and the increase the parent will pay to add the children to the policy. The difference is entered into the worksheet. Also included would be any premiums paid by either parent for state-provided insurance, such as PeachCare.
Child Care is entered separately for each child and is broken down separately for school-aged children and those in full-time child care. NOTE that the amounts entered here are yearly totals, not monthly amounts. The worksheet automatically calculates the monthly amount. This allows for the fact that many parents have an increased child care costs during school breaks and in the summer months. If one parent has been at home with the children, but will need to work after the divorce, then it is important to do some research to determine what form of child care will be used once the parent resumes working, so that can be calculated in the worksheet. This is especially important if income will be imputed to that parent.
The figures entered on Schedule D are apportioned to the parents based on the parent’s pro rata share of combined income on Line 3 of the Georgia Child Support Worksheet, and are entered as an adjustment on Line 6 of the worksheet. Line 8 of the worksheet shows the amount each parent pays toward these expenses. The presumptive child support amount is adjusted accordingly.
A more thorough explanation of Schedule D and the entire Georgia Child Support Worksheet can be provided by your attorney. You should always seek the advice of an attorney to assist you in calculating child support.
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