Home Family Law Georgia child support law is undergoing a major overhaul

Georgia child support law is undergoing a major overhaul

Georgia child support law is undergoing a major overhaul

Important changes to Georgia child support law. This change impacts the Basic Child Support Obligation (BCSO) schedule as the formula is used by the court.

SUWANEE, Georgia, June 5, 2024 /PRNewswire-PRWeb/ — In the last legislative session, the Georgia State Legislature passed SB 454, which made several important changes to Georgia's Child Support Guidelines, codified in OCGA §19-6-15. Governor Brian Kemp signed SB 454 on May 6, 2024. This revision achieves three main objectives: It modifies the Basic Child Support Obligation (BCSO) schedule. It changes the formula the court applies in cases where parents have lower incomes. It also establishes a formula and adjustment of the child support amount based on the amount of time the children spend with their child.

In GeorgiaChild support is calculated by considering various factors set forth in the Child Support Statute, OCGA §19-6-15. The amount of child support payable by both parents is determined by the BCSO table. This table has not been updated since the Child Support Statute was comprehensively amended in 2007. Prior to 2007, child support was calculated by taking a percentage of the noncustodial parent's monthly income as the support amount. In 2007, the Child Support Statute was changed to an income-sharing model.

The income sharing model that Georgia and many other states consider several factors when determining child support, including the gross income of both parents, the number of children they have together, and the cost of the children's health insurance premiums and child care expenses. If there are reasons why the amount set in the child support law is not fair, there are categories of factors and costs (called variances) that can be considered by the parents or the court to change the amount set in the child support law.

Since the BCSO table had not changed in more than 15 years, the legislature decided it was time to update the table. The Georgia Child Support Commission hired experts to determine the reasonable cost of raising children at each income level of $800 one month to 40,000 US dollars one month or $9,600 To 480,000 US dollars per year. This is a big increase, as the old BCSO at 30,000 US dollars one month or 360,000 US dollars per year. The numbers in the BCSO table also change depending on how many children there are in your family. In most cases, this means that the cost of raising children has increased since 2007 and therefore the amount of child support you have to pay has also increased.

Some parents complained that the amount set by the Child Support Act was too high, and now the law has been changed. If you have a lower income, there is now an alternative method for setting and determining child support. If your income is between $1,550 And $3,950 one month or $18,600 To $47,400 Each year there is a new low-income adjustment table that can be applied. In many situations, this table will result in lower child support obligations. When you complete the child support worksheets and the low-income adjustment table applies, the worksheet will automatically use the table that is appropriate for your situation.

For the first time, benefits paid by the Department of Veteran's Affairs to disabled veterans for their children are now included in the child support calculation and reduce the veteran's obligation to pay child support out of pocket. Under previous law, the custodial parent received the benefits on behalf of the child plus child support, and now the benefits reduce the amount of child support veterans must pay. This allows our disabled veterans to have more income to support themselves, but also ensures their children are supported financially.

The biggest change in the Child Support Act is the inclusion of a mandatory adjustment of parental leave in the calculation instead of a discretionary deviation. Georgia's The current BCSO is based on the cost of raising a child in a non-divorced family, so some of the cost is borne by the custodial parent and some by the non-custodial parent. The new parenting time adjustment changes the amount of child support the non-custodial parent must pay based on the number of days the child spends with each parent. Depending on the parents' income level and the amount of time the child spends with each parent, the non-custodial parent's obligation could now be zero, or the custodial parent may have to pay child support to the non-custodial parent if there is a large difference between the parents' incomes.

However, these changes will not come into effect all at once. The new BCSO table will come into effect July 1, 2024. Low-income compensation and parental leave compensation come into force January 1, 2026The current rules on low income derogation and the current parental leave derogation will remain in force until January 1, 2026.

When deciding whether a child support modification is appropriate, consider the change in the parents' income and financial situation, as well as the needs of the child, from the last order to the present. But also make sure you know which BCSO schedule applies to your situation. The change in BCSO is not in itself a reason to change your existing child support award, but it will affect the amount of child support you receive. When the parenting time modification changes go into effect, January 2026make sure you take all the time you are entitled to with your children under your current order, as the days you spend with your children will soon affect the amount of child support you receive. As you try to decide if a child support modification is right for you, please make sure any attorney you consult is aware of any changes to Georgia child support law.

About Sachs Family Law, PC:

Sachs Family Law, PC is a leading law firm specializing in divorce, child support, custody modifications, and enforcing parents’ legal rights in Georgiadedicated to empowering parents and protecting the welfare of children. Through advocacy, education and support services, Sachs Family Law, PC works tirelessly to promote positive outcomes for families navigating the complexities of the legal system.

For media inquiries or further information please contact:

Dorothy “Dodie” Sachs

Founding partner

Sachs Family Law, PC

[email protected]


The reforms to Georgia's The Child Support Act marks a new chapter in the state's commitment to supporting families and children. By modernizing calculation methods, expanding the BCSO table, and accounting for parental leave days, these changes aim to create a more equitable and responsive system that promotes financial stability, parental responsibility, and child well-being. Georgia's Children. As families adapt to the revised legal framework, access to accurate information, resources and legal advice will be critical to effectively navigating the complexities of the child support process.

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Dodie SachsSachs Family Law, PC, 1 770-695-7430, [email protected] https://sachsfamilylaw.com/

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