How To Collect Child Support In Georgia
If you were recently divorced and have minor children from your marriage, or if you have ended a relationship with your child’s other parent, you may be in a situation where you need to find out about how to collect child support because the other parent is not paying child support. Under Georgia law, both parents have an obligation to provide financial support for their children. Georgia uses an “income shares” model to calculate the total child support obligation for the child or children from the relationship, and then considers a variety of factors in determining how the parents will share the total child support obligation. Yet in some situations, one of the parents does not pay his or her child support obligation. How can you collect child support if your child’s other parent is not contributing? Our Atlanta child support lawyers can help.
Ensure You Have a Valid Child Support Order
First, you should ensure that there is a valid child support order in place. If you recently got divorced from your child’s other parent, the court will have entered a child support order as part of your divorce case. Any time there are minor children from the marriage when spouses are divorcing, the court will include child custody and child support as part of the divorce case. You can also get a court order for child support after you end a relationship with your child’s other parent even if you were never married. Child support may also be granted in child custody cases and family violence cases.
Determine if the Other Parent Should Still be Supporting Your Child
In order for the other parent to be responsible for child support for your child, your child cannot have graduated from high school, gotten married, or become emancipated. Generally speaking, Georgia law requires parents to pay child support until a child reaches the age of 18 (or until the child graduates from high school, up to the age of 20), gets married, or becomes emancipated. While you may have options for seeking unpaid child support, or arrears, for child support owed before the child turned 18 or another of the events noted above occurs, you will not be able to continue collecting new child support once one of those events occurs.
Income Deduction Orders
In Georgia, if you have a child support order and the other parent is not paying, you can seek an Income Deduction Order, which will result in the child support amount being withheld from the non-paying parent’s paycheck. You can seek an Income Deduction Order once a parent is behind in child support by one month’s payment.
Seek Child Support from the Non-Paying Parent’s Property
Depending upon the facts of the case, you may be able to make a claim against the non-paying parent’s property by getting a lien, or you may be able to garnish the non-paying parent’s bank account, benefits check, or tax refund.
Petition the Court
You can also petition the court to enforce your child support order. A court in Georgia may be able to hold the non-paying parent in contempt and may be able to take such actions as suspending the non-paying parent’s driver’s license until the child support is paid.
Contact Our Atlanta Child Support Attorneys
If you have questions about collecting child support, our child support lawyers in Atlanta can assist you. Contact Kaye, Lembeck, Hitt & French to learn more about how we can help.