Georgia’s New Child Support Guidelines FAQ

When [did] the new child support guidelines take effect?

The new guidelines [were] effective January 1, 2007 based on Senate Bill 382 of the 2006 Georgia Legislative Session. The Income Shares guidelines originally were scheduled to be effective July 1, 2006 but this is no longer true. The January 1, 2007 date appl[y] to all cases, old and new.

Can I apply for a modification in my award on January 1, 2007?

Not all will be able to immediately apply for a new hearing on January 1, 2007. Whether you can apply for a hearing immediately after January 1, 2007 depends on the advice of your attorney. But some key factors that apply are whether you or the other parent have had a material change in income or financial status since your last hearing on child support or whether there has been a material change in the child or children’s needs. Additionally, if you asked for and had a hearing for a modification within the past two years, you may have to wait for two years since that last hearing. There are exceptions to the two-year rule.

How can I find the new Income Shares guidelines?

Senate Bill 382 contains the new guidelines. They can be found by clicking here.

What happened to the parenting time adjustment in the new Income Shares guidelines?

Unfortunately, legislative politics forced the removal of the automatic parenting time adjustment. Parenting time of the non-custodial parent is now a generic deviation factor that one can request. The new guidelines assumes no parenting time for the non-custodial parent, so theoretically a non-custodial parent could ask for a deviation when exercising any parenting time. However, the Georgia Child Support Commission has been given the specific task of looking further at the issue of parenting time adjustments.

Is there a publicly available calculator for the new guidelines?

Yes, public calculators can be found on the Georgia Department of Human Resources web site. Click here.

SOURCE: Guideline Economics

Some married women have drivers’ licenses canceled

Dreamstime_813122 Name on license, Social Security card must match, state says

Attention Georgia married women: If you took your husband’s last name, your driver’s license might be canceled.

In an effort to comply with state and federal laws, the state Driver Services Department has been checking its database against the records at the Social Security Administration. If the name on your license does not match the name on your Social Security card, the state will move to cancel your license.

changes her Social Security information but not the name on her license, her information could be flagged by the state. Likewise for divorces.

The only warning drivers get is a letter sent to their last known address informing them that they have 120 days to clear up the discrepancy. The state concedes that this has caused problems with many people, especially married women. But officials with the Driver Services Department can’t say how many of the state’s 6 million drivers have been notified during the four-year effort — or how many have had privileges revoked.

Shermekka Taylor of Suwanee can tell you about one.


What Makes The Perfect Client?

Dreamstime_34772 What a lawyer thinks of as a “perfect client” in the domestic relations sense is a client who helps the process of the dissolution, custody, or support matter along. We know how hard this process is to be going through, but it can be a much more difficult process the longer it drags on — and a much more expensive one for you. (Although we like getting paid as much as anyone else, we believe we should be problem-solvers, not problem-creators.)

Good attorneys will always treat their clients — all of their clients — with the same professionalism and respect they treat any other client. However, by helping us help you, you can make the process smoother, lower your costs, and get a better result! Here are some things you can do to help your attorney in your domestic relations case, to make things run more smoothly.

  • Tell us everything — the good, the bad, the ugly. We want to know the nastiest things the other side might throw at us, true or not. If you have hidden sources of income, a stake in Anna Nicole Smith’s love nest in the Bahamas, or a rare coin collection, we need to know and plan accordingly.
  • Provide us with your tax, banking, investment, insurance, titles to cars and whatnot, and any other requested information quickly in the process (if you can bring this stuff to your first meeting, we might very well cry with joy). If you’re not in a place where you can get the information, sign a release that allows the attorney to request the information on your behalf.
  • Keep in contact with us. We’ll provide you with frequent updates, but there are times when we need to get in contact with you quickly, too.
  • Similarly, let us know the best way to contact you. If you’re one of those people who hates checking her voicemail but lives on her computer (wait, that would be me when I’m at home), let us know your email address and if that’s a better way to stay in touch.
  • Understand that a contested divorce may take a while, even if it ultimately settles. We want closure for you as soon as we can get it, too, but not at the expense of a good settlement for you.
  • If your case involves child custody, parenting time, or support, sign up and follow through with the mandatory education classes as soon as you can.
  • Remember that your attorney is there to give you expert advice and recommendations, but isn’t going to be able to make the final decision about whether or not you should take a settlement. He can and will tell you if it’s a good idea or a bad idea, and what the benefits and pitfalls of an offer might entail, but the ultimate decision is going to be yours.
  • Also, if you don’t like the way negotiations may be headed, if you change your mind about the way the case is going, or if you’re just generally unhappy about something, please say so. We’d much rather know about it (and fix it) than to find out much, much later that you’d been unhappy for a very long time.

Advice aside, we know that this may be the, or one of the most difficult times of your life. We treat all of our clients as we would hope to be treated under the same circumstances: with diligence to their case, courtesy, the utmost respect, and the highest level of customer service possible.

Source:  "The Perfect Client" by C. Sean Stephens, published at The Oregon Divorce Blog.

SOURCE FOR POST: South Carolina Family Law Blog

Helping Children Cope With Divorce

Dreamstime_1321730Helping children cope with divorce is important because children model future behavior on current experiences.  Whether we like it or not, our children watch every thing we do, and tend to remember for a long time.  Even if your children are young and take everything you say as the truth, eventually they will grow up and form opinions on how you handled the divorce.  So how do you even begin to help a child deal with divorce?  Use the following tips to guide you through the divorce experience so that it is less traumatic on your kids:


Marriages mostly end short of silver

Don’t stock up on silver anniversary cards. More than half the Americans who might have celebrated their 25th wedding anniversaries in the year 2000 were either divorced, separated or widowed, according to a census survey released Wednesday.

It was the first time since at least World War II that married people had a less than even chance of still being married 25 years later.

The latest survey by the Census Bureau, using 2004 data, confirmed that most Americans eventually marry, but they do so later and are less likely to be wed only once.

The oldest baby boomers recorded the highest divorce rates. Among people in their 50s, 38 percent of men and 41 percent of women had been divorced. In 1996, the comparable figures were 36 percent and 35 percent.

One statistical constant has been the so-called seven-year itch. Couples who separate do so, on average, after seven years and divorce after eight.