Divorce is an emotional process during which time people are forced to make important financial decisions. Assets and liabilities have to be divided. Child custody and support must be determined as well as whether or not either party will have to pay spousal support to the other. On top of that, there are income tax issues that must be considered.
When the parties are unable to reach an agreement, the court will make the decisions for them. As for the division of assets and liabilities, Georgia is an equitable distribution state. This means assets and liabilities are divided according to what the court determines is fair. This does not necessarily mean the division will be an equal one.
The law requires parents to support their children, including providing them with health care coverage. Georgia has established support guidelines based on the gross income of each parent. There is a child support worksheet the court uses in determining the Basic Child Support Obligation (BCSO) of each parent. The court may evaluate individual circumstances and deviate up or down from the BCSO. In most cases, the non-custodial parent will be obligated to pay a certain monthly sum to the custodial parent.
Either spouse can request support from the other. According to Georgia law, the determining factor is based on one party’s need and the other party’s ability to pay. Some factors the court may evaluate include the length of the marriage, the financial situation of the parties and each one’s ability to be employed. The standard of living during the course of the marriage is also a factor.
Parents who pay child support cannot deduct their payment amount from their income taxes. The parent receiving child support does not claim it as income.
Spousal support payments are deductible and the receiving party must claim it as income. In some circumstances, there may be other tax issues that need to be discussed with the family law attorney.