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There was a time when the judge had practically unfettered discretion in setting the amount of child support, but those days are long gone, thanks to the federal government. Under our federal Constitution, the federal government has no say so when it comes to family law.
The day has finally arrived, Georgia’s new child support guidelines were implemented January 1, 2007. The new law replaces over thirty years of legislation which previously based child support on a flat percentage calculated from the non-custodial parents gross annual income.
On Monday, January 1, 2007, Georgia’s New Child Support Guidelines became effective. Under the old guidelines, child support in Georgia was based primarily upon a percentage of the non-custodial parent’s gross income. Under the new guidelines, the income or earning capacity of both parents will be used to allocate each parent’s responsibility for a child’s expenses.
The issue before the court was whether a parent may sue the other parent for fraud and deceit based on alleged misrepresentations made during an action to establish child support. Child support was established and ordered based on the father gross income. The mother, however, claimed that she later discovered that the father had fraudulently represented his income.
In a Georgia divorce, the mother is not automatically given custody of the children. The judge considers the best interests of the child. The court considers the age and gender of the child, the child's relationship with each parent, and the ability of each parent to take care of the child. Sometimes, the court will allow a child over 14 years old to choose who he or she will live with. Visitation rights are usually given to the parent who does not get legal custody.
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