Jackson v. SandersAnnotate this Case
In November 2001, Appellant Doug Jackson (“Father”) and Appellee Lisa Sanders (“Mother”) divorced in Florida. The final judgment and decree of divorce required Father to pay Mother $1,005 per month for the support of their infant son, based on Father’s then-current annual salary of $250,000. Subsequently, both parties relocated to the Atlanta area, and a decree was entered in Cobb Superior Court in 2007, incorporating the same child support requirement. Subsequently, Father moved for modification of custody and child support, and Mother counterclaimed, seeking an upward modification of child support. The trial court held a bench trial in March 2014 and thereafter entered a final order granting Mother’s motion for directed verdict on the custody modification and granting Mother’s request for an upward modification of child support. The court determined that it was proper to apply OCGA 19-6-15 (f) (4) (B), which addressed the scenario when a parent “fails to produce reliable evidence of income,” thus impeding the trial court’s ability to fairly and reasonably calculate and allocate the parties’ respective child support obligations. The Court of Appeals vacated and remanded on this issue, finding that while it was not an abuse of discretion to apply the statute, it was error to not calculate the father's income as mandated by that statute. The Supreme Court agreed with the Court of Appeals and affirmed.