Parents Modify Original Child Support and Custody Orders

Orders in a divorce surrounding children are often the most difficult to determine. Courts must decide what is in the best interests of a couple's children regarding custody and support for their financial needs. In making such determinations, courts must take into account many factors regarding the parents and children involving their needs and financial situations.

A former husband and wife recently reached a settlement agreement in their divorce case.The settlement was pursuant to the wife's desire to modify their original agreement regarding child support and child custody.The settlement agreement grants them joint custody of their three children, but lowered the original amount of child support owed by the husband.He was originally ordered to pay $1,750 a month, but the amount was reduced to $1,000 a month because one of their children will live with him.

The state of Georgia applies a shared income method for determining the amount of child support.This method applies a table to determine the adequate amount necessary to meet the needs of the children involved.The table takes into account factors such as the parents' respective incomes and costs of child care and providing health insurance, among many others.To modify an established order for child support, a parent must prove that there has been a significant change in their finances or those of the other parent, or that there has been a change in the needs of the children.An action to modify a child support order cannot be brought by the same parent more than once every two years.

In this case, the parents had a divorce order previously established, but the mother wanted to modify certain aspects of it, particularly those involving child custody and child support.Under the terms of the modified order, one of the couple's three children will now be living with the father, which has constituted a decrease in the amount of child support the father is required to pay.Since the child will be living with him, this establishes a change in the needs of the children as only two of them will be living with the mother, rather than all three.

Source: Memphis Commercial Appeal, "Former Southaven mayor Greg Davis and ex-wife reach amended divorce settlement," Yolanda Jones, July 17, 2013

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