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Georgia State Code
Title      19
Chapter       6  
Section Navigation     1 ... 10           11 ... 20    
    21 ... 29         30 ... 35      
Section<<< 11 12 13 14 15 16 17 18 19 20 >>>  
Title 19, Chapter 6, Section 15 (19-6-15)

(a) The provisions of this Code section shall not apply with respect to any divorce case in which there are no minor children, except to the limited extent expressly authorized in subsection (e) of this Code section; and in a divorce case in which there are no minor children the requirements of this Code section for findings of fact and inclusion of findings in the verdict or decree shall not apply. In the final verdict or decree, the trier of fact shall specify in what amount and from which party the minor children are entitled to permanent support. The final verdict or decree shall further specify as required by Code Section 19-5-12 in what manner, how often, to whom, and until when the support shall be paid. The final verdict or decree shall further include a written finding of the gross income of the father and the mother and the presence or absence of special circumstances in accordance with subsection (c) of this Code section. The trier of fact must also determine whether the accident and sickness insurance for the child or the children involved is reasonably available at reasonable costs through employment related or other group health insurance policies to an obligor. For purposes of this Code section, accident and sickness coverage shall be deemed available if the obligor has access to any policy of insurance authorized under Title 33 through an employer or other group health insurance plan. If the accident and sickness insurance is deemed available at reasonable cost, the court shall order the obligor to obtain the coverage; provided, however, if the obligee has accident and sickness insurance for the child or children reasonably available at reasonable costs through employment related or other group health insurance policies, then the court may order that the child or children be covered under such insurance and the obligor contribute as part of the child support order such part of the cost of providing such insurance or such part of any medical expenses incurred on behalf of the child or children not covered by such insurance as the court may deem equitable or appropriate. If currently unavailable or unreasonable in cost, the court shall order the obligor to obtain coverage when it becomes available at a reasonable cost, unless such insurance is provided by the obligee as provided in this subsection. When support is awarded, the party who is required to pay the support shall not be liable to third persons for necessaries furnished to the children embraced in the verdict or decree. In any contested case, the parties shall submit to the court their proposed findings regarding the gross income of the father and the mother and the presence or absence of special circumstances. In any case in which child support is determined by a jury, the court shall charge the provisions of this Code section and the jury shall be required to return a special interrogatory similar to the form of the order contained in Code Section 19-5-12 regarding the gross income of the father and the mother and the presence or absence of special circumstances. Furthermore, nothing contained within this Code section shall prevent the parties from entering into an enforceable agreement to the contrary which may be made the order of the court pursuant to the review by the court of child support amounts contained in this Code section; provided, however, any such agreement of the parties shall include a written statement regarding the gross income of the father and the mother and the presence or absence of special circumstances in accordance with subsection (c) of this Code section.

(b) The child support award shall be computed as provided in this subsection: (1) Computation of child support shall be based upon gross income;

(2) For the purpose of determining the obligor's child support obligation, gross income shall include 100 percent of wage and salary income and other compensation for personal services, interest, dividends, net rental income, self-employment income, and all other income, except need-based public assistance;

(3) The earning capacity of an asset of a party available for child support may be used in determining gross income. The reasonable earning potential of an asset may be determined by multiplying its equity by a reasonable rate of interest. The amount generated by that calculation should be added to the obligor's gross monthly income;

(4) Allowable expenses deducted to calculate self-employment income that personally benefit the obligor, or economic in-kind benefits received by an employed obligor, may be included in calculating the obligor's gross monthly income; and

(5) The amount of the obligor's child support obligation shall be determined by multiplying the obligor's gross income per pay period by a percentage based on the number of children for whom child support is being determined. The applicable percentages of gross income to be considered by the trier of fact are: Number_of Children Percentage_Range_of_Gross_Income 1 17 percent to 23 percent 2 23 percent to 28 percent 3 25 percent to 32 percent 4 29 percent to 35 percent 5 or more 31 percent to 37 percent

Application of these guidelines shall create a rebuttable presumption that the amount of the support awarded is the correct amount of support to be awarded. A written finding or specific finding on the record for the award of child support that the application of the guidelines would be unjust or inappropriate in a particular case shall be sufficient to rebut the presumption in that case. Findings that rebut said presumption must state the amount of support that would have been required under the guidelines and include justification of why the order varies from the guidelines. These guidelines are intended by the General Assembly to be guidelines only and any court so applying these guidelines shall not abrogate its responsibility in making the final determination of child support based on the evidence presented to it at the time of trial.

(c) The trier of fact shall vary the final award of child support, up or down, from the range enumerated in paragraph (5) of subsection (b) of this Code section upon a written finding that the presence of one or more of the following special circumstances makes the presumptive amount of support either excessive or inadequate:

(1) Ages of the children;

(2) A child's extraordinary medical costs or needs in addition to accident and sickness insurance, provided that all such costs or needs shall be considered if no insurance is available; (3) Educational costs;

(4) Day-care costs;

(5) Shared physical custody arrangements, including extended visitation;

(6) A party's other support obligations to another household;

(7) Income that should be imputed to a party because of suppression of income;

(8) In-kind income for the self-employed, such as reimbursed meals or a company car;

(9) Other support a party is providing or will be providing, such as payment of a mortgage;

(10) A party's own extraordinary needs, such as medical expenses;

(11) Extreme economic circumstances including but not limited to:

(A) Unusually high debt structure; or

(B) Unusually high income of either party or both parties, which shall be construed as individual gross income of over $75,000.00 per annum;

(12) Historical spending in the family for children which varies significantly from the percentage table;

(13) Considerations of the economic cost-of-living factors of the community of each party, as determined by the trier of fact;

(14) In-kind contribution of either parent;

(15) The income of the custodial parent;

(16) The cost of accident and sickness insurance coverage for dependent children included in the order;

(17) Extraordinary travel expenses to exercise visitation or shared physical custody; and

(18) Any other factor which the trier of fact deems to be required by the ends of justice.

(d) The guidelines shall be reviewed by a commission appointed by the Governor to ensure that their application results in the determination of appropriate child support award amounts. The commission will complete its review and submit its report within four years following July 1, 1989, and shall continue such reviews every four years thereafter. Nothing contained in such report shall be considered to authorize or require a change in the guidelines without action by the General Assembly having the force and effect of law.

(e) The duty to provide support for a minor child shall continue until the child reaches the age of majority, dies, marries, or becomes emancipated, whichever first occurs; provided, however, that, in any temporary or final order for child support with respect to any proceeding for divorce, separate maintenance, legitimacy, or paternity entered on or after July 1, 1992, the trier of fact, in the exercise of sound discretion, may direct either or both parents to provide financial assistance to a child who has not previously married or become emancipated, who is enrolled in and attending a secondary school, and who has attained the age of majority before completing his or her secondary school education, provided that such financial assistance shall not be required after a child attains 20 years of age. The provisions for support provided in this subsection may be enforced by either parent or the child for whose benefit the support is ordered.

(f) The provisions of subsection (e) of this Code section shall be applicable only to a temporary order or final decree for divorce, separate maintenance, legitimation, or paternity entered on or after July 1, 1992, and the same shall be applicable to an action for modification of a decree entered in such an action entered on or after July 1, 1992, only upon a showing of a significant change of material circumstances.

Saturday May 23 09:01 EDT


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