MODIFICATION OF CHILD SUPPORT IN GEORGIA
Modification of child support in Georgia is based upon a showing of a change in the income or financial status of either former spouse or a change in the needs of the child. Once that showing of change is made, then support is adjusted per the child support guidelines.
Georgia law allows for parties to come back and modify their existing orders with respect to alimony, child support, custody, or visitation/parenting time. The public policy of Georgia to revisit issues from prior agreements or orders is to allow for flexibility as the circumstances can change. For example, a payor might be fired from his or her job following a layoff and through no fault of his or her own the financial circumstances of that party have substantially changed. It would not be appropriate to require a payor to continue to pay amounts he was ordered to pay (or agreed to pay) when financial circumstances were better.
The usual reasons for a modification of child support are due to a substantial change in either parent’s income and financial status or the needs of the child.
With respect to timing and waiting periods, O.C.G.A. §19-6-15 makes it clear that no petition to modify child support may be filed by either parent within a two year period from the date of the previous final Court order obtained by the same parent. There are exceptions to this two year period such as where:
(A) A noncustodial parent has failed to exercise the court ordered visitation;
(B) A noncustodial parent has exercised a greater amount of visitation than was provided in the court order; or
(C) The motion to modify is based upon an involuntary loss of income.
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