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Imputing Income to a Parent in Georgia Child Support Calculations

Many couples who have minor children together and are in the process of separating, whether they are married or not, must address the issue of child support for their children. In most cases, one parent will have custody of the children and the other parent will pay child support. However, even in a joint or split custody situation, if one parent’s income is significantly higher than the other’s parent’s income, the parent with the higher income may be ordered to pay child support.

One question that often arises in a child support proceeding is what income to use for a parent who is unemployed or underemployed for the purposes of calculating child support. All too frequently, one parent will remain perpetually unemployed or employed making less money than he or she is capable of making. The parent may be in this position in an attempt to minimize a child support obligation, or for another reason altogether. Whatever the reason may be, the question remains how to calculate a proper child support obligation under Georgia law.

It may be possible in some circumstances to impute income to the parent, so long as that parent is physically able to work. At the very least, it may be proper to impute minimum wage for that parent, assuming that he or she is capable of earning minimum wage. In other cases, a parent may be underemployed, such as a parent who works as a retail store clerk when he or she has a master’s degree in education. Whether a higher income should be used for that parent in a child support calculation depends on the circumstances surrounding the parent’s current job situation, and only an experienced Georgia child support attorney can help determine the proper income to use for the parent.

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.