Low-Income Deviation is non-mandatory and up to the Court’s discretion to grant. There are two reasons a low-income deviation can be requested. Those are if the non-custodial parent has no-earning capacity or the child support would create economic hardship. The non-custodial parent has the burden of providing evidence and proving to the Court he or she needs the deviation. As with every non-mandatory deviation the Court will consider what is in the best interest of the child as well. The low-income deviation will modify the child support obligations downward. However, there is a minimum child support amount of $100 for one child and $50 for each additional child in the State of Georgia.
According to O.C.G.A. Low-Income Deviation, “shall apply only to the current child support amount and shall not prohibit an additional amount being ordered to reduce a noncustodial parent’s arrears.” This means that when the non-custodial parent is seeking a modification of child support they can ask for a low-income deviation when calculating the new child support amount. However, if they owe any child support arrears the low-income deviation will not lower the amount and they will be responsible for paying it back in full to the custodial parent.
For example, the Mother is making $0 in gross income and the Father is making $6,000 a month in gross income. The Mother is the non-custodial parent and requests the low-income deviation. The Court approves the deviation and modifies her child support obligation downward. The amount of child support will not drop below $100. The deviation will be entered into Schedule E of the Child Support Worksheet and is a dollar for dollar deviation. If you are ready to discuss your child support case with one of our experienced Family Law Attorneys, give us a call toll-free at 866-527-2630 to set up a consultation.