Superior Courts in the State of Georgia have jurisdiction over domestic-related matters such divorce, custody, child support, temporary protective orders and alimony. The role of the judge in these types of matters can range from deciding which parent should have legal custody and the financial support a spouse or parent is obligated to pay. Regarding a determination of the financial support obligation of a parent or spouse the Court can decide it on a temporary or permanent basis. In this instance a plaintiff can come in the form of a parent or a soon to be former spouse. At the initiation of a legitimation or a divorce the Court will need to determine if a parent or spouse is in need of financial support while the matter is being decided. Custody and divorce matters can take several months to work their way through the Court system and it is often a significant hardship for the custodial parent having to cover necessary childcare expenses by themselves. For instance, a parent may file a legitimation or paternity suit to begin the process of determining matters such as custody and or visitation of a child. Once the custodial parent is determined the Court will need to look at the custodial parent’s need for support and the noncustodial parent’s ability to pay. To aid in this evaluation the Court will have each party complete a Georgia Domestic Relations Financial Affidavit.
A Georgia Domestic Relations Financial Affidavit (GDRFA) is a sworn statement listing a party’s assets, income and expenses. Several counties throughout the state of Georgia provide GDRFA forms to assist parties with providing the necessary information needed. GDRFA forms will ask parties for the following information:
- Summary of Income and Expenses
- Gross Monthly Income Section
- Asset Section
- Average Monthly Expenses Section
- Creditor Payments
There are fewer deductions to income allowed for the GDRFA than for taxes under the Federal code. Additionally, further investigation is often needed to examine gross income and allowable deductions for self-employed persons. As one can imagine, there is a lot of litigation that goes into a final determination of income that will be used to calculate temporary and/or permanent support. Regardless, the Georgia Domestic Relations Financial Affidavit is the starting point for the Court to examine each of the party’s financial status.
The Faucette Law Firm has extensive experience assisting clients with divorce and family law related matters. We work with clients to prepare GDRFA’s and challenge financial information provided by the opposing party when appropriate. We represent clients in Douglasville and the Metro Atlanta area. Contact our office today for a free consultation.