Legislation is under consideration in Georgia which, according to reports, would dramatically diminish child support obligations.
According to an Atlanta Journal Constitution article, Georgia’s non-custodial parents think child support guidelines are too generous and Georgia’s custodial parents think they are inadequate.
Child support guidelines in Florida are undoubtedly different from those in Georgia. But non-custodial parents and custodial parents in Florida (and every other state) seem to feel the same way as their counterparts in Georgia.
To some extent, these attitudes are functions of human nature, reflecting attitudes of many divorced people toward their ex-spouses. Their children are just innocent casualties.
The problem with child support guidelines is that they are relatively cut-and-dried, simplified formulas.
The benefit of child support guidelines is that they are relatively cut-and-dried, simplified formulas.
If it weren’t for guidelines, however imperfect, family courts would be backed up far worse than they already are – just dealing with setting child support in divorce, support-only, paternity, dependency and other similar cases.
Guidelines are practical necessities.
To work well, however, they must be written with the proverbial typical middle class family in mind, with built-in mechanisms facilitating adjustment for lower income and higher income families.
They must also allow for deviations – under appropriate circumstances.
Given the complexity of coming up with guidelines in the first place, careful consideration is surely warranted before trading in guidelines that have stood the test of time. The welfare of children is at stake.