David Walker, Attorney at Law

Georgia’s child support laws
By David Walker, Attorney at Law

Georgia child support guidelines are based on the incomes of the parents. The amount of support is based on the total of both parents’ income.

The parent with the greater income will generally pay the larger share of child support. 

The intent is to prorate the actual child-rearing expenses between both parents. The amount is arrived at based on what parents of comparable incomes generally spend on children’s expenses. 

These guidelines apply in all types of legal proceedings concerning child support, including juvenile court deprivation actions, paternity actions, actions for divorce, third party custody actions, or in any other action in which a parent’s obligation for support shall be determined. The guidelines shall be used in a temporary child support orders as well as in permanent orders. The law provides that the child support guidelines are a minimum basis for determining the amount of child support. 

The new law is based on public policy regarding calculations of child support, which is:

To achieve the state policy of affording to children of unmarried Parents, to the extent possible, the same economic standard of living enjoyed by children living in intact families consisting of Parents with similar financial means.  

A simplified view of the process is as follows:

The incomes of each parent are combined, and a child support amount is computed based on a table provided in the law.  The noncustodial parent will pay child support based on the proportion of his or her income, compared to the combined incomes of both parents.  

The actual calculations will be more complicated because a number of other factors will be taken into consideration.  These include but are not limited to whether or not a parent is under employed, self-employed, pays support for other children, has unusually high or low income, travel expenses for visitation, health insurance, and also unusual divisions of parenting time. The calculation will provide for both parents to contribute to health costs, day care, and extraordinary expenses, as well as basic needs of children, in proportion to their incomes. 

Parties to cases under the new child support law must provide worksheets and schedules to the court. These documents can be obtained online from the website of the Georgia Child Support Commission.

There is obviously plenty of work to be done to put these guidelines into use. Our office has handled cases involving child support for a number of years, and we would be glad to offer assistance and advice as needed. 


David Sinclair Walker, Jr. P.C. P.O.BOX 871329, Stone Mountain GA 30087;

North Gwinnett Office - 6340 Sugarloaf Parkway, Suite 200, Duluth GA 30097;

South Gwinnett Office - 2330 Scenic Highway, Snellville GA 30078

Telephone 770-972-3803; Facsimile 770-921-7418 email

-Admitted in GA and D.C. -UGA Law ’76 -Certified Mediator -Georgia Bar No. 731725770) 972-3803 or visit