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Deviations from Georgia Child Support Guidelines Due to Extraordinary Expenses

The Georgia Statute O.C.G.A. § 19-6-15 provides that a judge or jury can deviate from the amount of child support calculated on the Child Support Worksheet based on different situations.  Reasons for a deviation from the Georgia child support law include the following:

  • High or low income
  • Other health-related insurance
  • Life insurance
  • Child and dependent care tax credit
  • Travel expenses
  • Alimony
  • Mortgage payments
  • Permanency plan or foster care
  • Extraordinary expenses
  • Parenting time
  • Other nonspecific deviations

In calculating child support, extraordinary expenses may be a reason to deviate from the presumptive child support amount under Georgia law (the “presumptive” amount is the amount assumed by the Child Support Worksheet prior to requesting deviations).  One example of extraordinary expenses is extraordinary educational expenses, such as the costs of a private preschool, boarding school, or a private high school.  Another example of extraordinary expenses that justify a deviation from the normal support amount might be extraordinary medical expenses for the child.  For instance, extraordinary medical expenses might exist if the child is autistic and needs specialized therapy or other medical treatment.

Extraordinary expenses can either be added on to the support payment or deducted from the support payment, depending on the circumstances, such as which parent is incurring the actual extraordinary expense. The judge or jury has the discretion to deviate from the presumptive child support obligation on the basis of extraordinary expenses in most cases.  This means that the judge or jury can choose whether to adjust the child support amount based on those extraordinary expenses; but a deviation or adjustment on the basis of extraordinary expenses is not mandatory.

A Georgia child support lawyer can make all the difference in giving you the knowledge necessary to make informed decisions about your divorce or paternity case and any related child support. Contact us or call today to learn how Shaw Law can work with you to achieve the best outcome possible for you and your children.

Scott Shaw is founder and principle of Shaw Law Firm LLC, founded in 1995 and dedicated solely to divorce, family law and child custody matters that must be addressed and decided in the state of Georgia. Shaw Law Firm serves the greater Metro Atlanta area, particularly the counties of Fulton, Gwinnett, Cobb, Cherokee, Forsyth, Paulding, Henry, Fayette, Coweta, Newton, Walton, Bartow and Douglas. Schedule a consultation today at 770-594-8309.