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The final non-mandatory deviation listed on Schedule E of Georgia’s Child Support Worksheet is the Non-Specific Deviation. According to the Official Code of Georgia regarding this deviation, “Deviations from the presumptive amount of child support may be appropriate for reasons in addition to those established under this subsection when the court or the jury finds it is in the best interest of the child.” O.C.G.A. §19-6-15(i)(3).
As can be seen below, the Non-Specific Deviation is found on line 10 of Schedule E. This deviation is essentially a catch-all category that was included to cover certain family specific or special situations that may not be adequately addressed by any other deviation. Because every family is unique, what applies in one family may not apply in another. With the non-Specific Deviation, the non-custodial parent has the ability to ask for a deviation for any reason. However, it is important to keep in mind that this deviation will only be granted if the presiding court finds that it will serve the best interest of the child. Id.
To take advantage of this deviation, the parent seeking to utilize it must enter the requested deviation amount in the appropriate column. Only deviation amounts entered into the non-custodial parent’s column will impact the final child support amount. Thus, it is not necessary to enter a deviation amount in the custodial parent’s column. When determining the appropriate deviation amount, the parent seeking the deviation should ask themselves: “What is my desired result?” If the desired result is to lower the child support obligation due to specific circumstances that limit the non-custodial parent’s ability to pay child support, the Non-Specific deviation should be entered as a negative number sufficient to lower the child support obligation to the desired amount. Remember, the amount entered should be the desired deviation amount, and not necessarily the exact amount of any specific expense that the requesting parent seeks to offset.