Modifying Child Support Because Of Miscalculation

Question:Kevin Mammola Atlanta Divorce Attorney

During my divorce process, I misunderstood the child support calculator and agreed to pay my wife significantly more in child support than is required.

Now, because my tax status has changed, I take home less net income though my gross income remains the same.

Do child support laws allow for a modification because I misunderstood the calculation and the fact that my net income has decreased?


While I am not licensed to practice in your jurisdiction, I can provide you with some general divorce help for men regarding the issues you present in your question.

Based on the facts provided in your question, it is unlikely that you are presently entitled to a downward modification of your child support obligation.

In Georgia (where I practice), you are entitled to a modification of child support if one of the following circumstances applies since the entry of the most recent order obligating you to pay child support:

1. Substantial change and income status of the Father (in your case, you would move for a modification if you received a substantial decrease in income);

2. Substantial change and income status of the Mother (again, you would move for a modification based upon an increase in the mother’s income); or,

3. Substantial change in the needs of the children (in your case, you may look to petition for a modification of child support based upon certain decreases in the financial needs of the children).

A decrease in your net income, or threats your ex-wife made to you will not constitute grounds for a modification of child support.

Since Georgia uses gross income to determine a child support obligation, the fact that your net income has decreased substantially as a result of your change in the tax filing status will not constitute grounds for a modification of child support.

Based on your circumstances, unless you receive a reduction in your gross monthly income, I recommend that you closely monitor your ex wife’s employment status (to determine whether and when she may be expected to receive an increase in her salary/wages), and the needs of your children.

With regard to the children, you would monitor whether their financial needs have decreased since the entry of the divorce decree. For example, if child care was included in the child support worksheet as a reason for an upward deviation of your child support obligation, and your children stop receiving day care at some point, or begin requiring less day care, then you may have grounds to modify the support obligation.

I strongly advise you to meet with an attorney to review your documents and discuss your best approach to moving for a downward modification of your child support obligation in the future.

To schedule an appointment with a Cordell & Cordell attorney, including Kevin Mammola, an attorney in the Atlanta, Georgia office of Cordell & Cordell, please contact Cordell & Cordell.

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3 comments on “Modifying Child Support Because Of Miscalculation


    Just to ad… The funds have always been available for child support to collect. I have her bank statement and it shows a deposit of 33k in Jan of 2014. I told the Child Support Agency by phone and written notice, the money was there back in January and they still failed to collect any funds. I believe the Child Support Agency should pay me for their failure to follow their own rules that say that they will look into any information given them by the Obligee, and they did not. It’s not as if the funds have not been available… the agency just failed to do their job. I have made every sacrifice for my children in order to make their lives better, and happy to do so…. but, REALLY?
    Sorry, I’ll shut up now.

    At my divorce and custody hearing, my ex was ordered to pay child support. My ex submitted a annual pay of 20k less then actually made. The child support was calculated at half of what it should have been. Recently, I was taken back to court by my ex for a modification in custody during of which my ex owed arrearages of child support in excessive amount. The court awarded me information from back W2’s from our divorce until now. I found that the annual income was much more then initially reported. Now that I have proof of income, can I have the support modified and collect the balance on the correct amount? And, my ex had been collecting thousands each year from EIC which I received no funds from. This also came out in the court when my ex filed (lost) modification of custody. I subpoenaed the tax returns.
    This would put the acreages of child support at over 40k. the arrears at this time are 26k. My ex received a 33k one lump check from work last year, of which I also received no funds from… not one penny. The tax returns alone have added to over 30k since our divorce and I have never received any funds. If you haven’t figured it out by now, I am living proof of the bias against custodial fathers. Something has got to be done and someone needs to be accountable! Oh and by the way, I now owe my attorney 14k for helping me to get information the child support agency should have known and I have not yet received a dime after a year in court. I have a child support case and going on line, all I see are arrearages, but no one is doing anything to collect. WHO’s GONNA PAY ME FOR THESE FAILURES TO COLLECT BY CHILD SUPPORT COLLECTION’S?! I have written letters and spoke with everyone in the agency with no results. I don’t know what to do.

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