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How Child Support is Determined with a Fluctuating Income

On Behalf of | Mar 27, 2023 | Child Support

In Georgia, parents who are not living together are usually required to create quality child support agreements which will help cover their children’s living expenses and other financial needs. Although, there is an established guideline for calculating child support amounts under state laws. However, different issues often arise when one of the child’s parents has a fluctuating income.

Attorney Banks-Ware is dedicated to offering personalized legal guidance and advocacy to clients in child support-related matters. As a practiced Georgia family law attorney, Noreen Banks-Ware is available to discuss your unique situation and enlighten you about how child support is determined when the parent doesn’t have a stable income. The firm proudly serves clients across Lithonia, McDonough, Conyers, and Lawrenceville, Georgia.

Factors Considered in Child Support Calculation

Under Georgia law, child support is calculated using the “Income Shares Model” – a worksheet created by the state’s Child Support Commission. However, the judge may deviate from the amount given by the child support guidelines based on the following factors:

  • The combined adjusted gross income of both parents is high.
  • The noncustodial parent has a low gross income.
  • The cost needed for the children to travel for visitation.
  • The cost of life insurance and health insurance.
  • The cost required to pay for the child’s accommodation or provide a home for the child.
  • The child has extraordinary expenses, such as special needs, medical expenses, or private school tuition.
  • The noncustodial parent spends more money on childcare due to more parenting time.
  • The monthly amount paid by the child for extracurricular activities.

An experienced attorney can review every aspect of your unique situation, identify incomes that may fluctuate, and help calculate the right child support amount.

Common Examples of Income that May Fluctuate

Here are some common examples of a parent’s income that may fluctuate:

  • Bonuses
  • Overtime
  • Dividends
  • Commission
  • Prizes
  • Self-Employed
  • Second jobs

In most cases, the court may need to average the variable or fluctuating income over a particular period of time and then add it to the parent’s fixed wages or salary to determine their monthly gross income.

How is Fluctuating Income Calculated for Child Support in Georgia?

If the child’s parent has a fluctuating income, it can be difficult to determine exactly how much should be paid as child support. As a result, child support will be calculated based on dependable or regular income and the average fluctuating income over a reasonable period.

For example, if the parent earns $2,500 monthly regularly from a stable or consistent source, this is the fixed income that should be included in the worksheet for child support calculations. The average additional income may also be added. Generally, including other irregular incomes, such as overtime or bonus, may end up placing a hardship on the parent when they eventually stop.

Experienced Guidance Every Step of the Way

Unfortunately, a parent’s income can fluctuate from month to month, especially during difficult economic periods. When this happens, calculating the right amount of child support can be quite difficult. Therefore, you should speak with a practiced child support attorney is crucial for detailed guidance and to help you navigate crucial decisions.

Attorney Banks-Ware has devoted her career to guiding clients through the complex procedures involved in calculating child support. As your legal team, she can work to understand every surrounding detail of your specific situation and help determine the right child support amounts while taking the averaged fluctuating income into consideration.

Contact E.N. Banks-Ware Law Firm LLC today to arrange a consultation with an experienced family law attorney. Noreen Banks-Ware has the brilliant advocacy and highly-personalized legal guidance you need to make intelligent decisions in your familial and child support matters. The firm proudly serves clients across Lithonia, McDonough, Conyers, and Lawrenceville, Georgia.