When Georgia couples have children and are thinking about filing for divorce, it is good for them to know what the courts look at when it comes to child support. The purpose of child support is to ensure that both parents share the financial responsibilities of the children. Courts want the children to be able to maintain a high standard of living, or at least something they are used to, after the parents divorce.
Knowing what courts look at can help couples frame their conversations when it comes to child support. The courts will consider the circumstances of each parent when determining who will make child support payments and how much the ex-spouse will need to pay. They will look at the income of the individuals, where their children spend their time and the number of children in the family.
There are guidelines that the courts will follow as they make determinations, but they can deviate from these when it is necessary. Child support arrangements can be modified based on each parent's circumstances and other factors. In some cases, a court will allow the parents to determine how much support will be paid and to whom it will be paid.
It is common for the ex-spouse who collects child support to also collect spousal support. However, support for the children will always take precedence over support for the spouse. If the circumstances change and the support payments for the children are reduced, the support payments for the spouse will also likely be reduced.
There are a lot of questions that come up during a divorce, especially when children are involved. A parent may decide to work with a family law attorney as they go through the divorce proceedings. The attorney may provide advice on child custody, child support, spousal support and other issues related to family law.