Child Support in Georgia
Child support can be a stressful and antagonistic topic for parents. Whether you’ve just separated and need money to support your child(ren) or you’re trying to enforce an order against a parent who won’t pay up, it is important to be well informed and have the support of a knowledgeable family law attorney.
When parents’ divorce or separate, the court will order the “non-custodial” parent to pay support based on the Georgia Child Support Calculator. Less commonly, when neither parent has custody, the court may order both to pay to a third party who cares for their child(ren). The purpose of child support is to guarantee that even if parents have ended their relationship, they each fulfill their obligation to financially support their child(ren).
Because in the United States 1 in 2 marriages ends in divorce and almost one-fourth of all children are born to unmarried parents, the regulation of child support is an important social issue. Nowadays, state enforcement agencies take an aggressive role in seeking payments from non-custodial parents. In Georgia, the Georgia Child Support Commission has these duties.
Child support orders are issued by the family court, which bases the amount of the support on the state guidelines. These guidelines establish the amount of support that must be paid, based on both parent’s income, the number of children and the specific needs of each child. The court will also take in consideration other relevant costs such as the child’s daycare or school expenses, extra-curricular activities, medical expenses and numerous other factors.
In cases involving unmarried mothers seeking child support, the first step may be to legally establish the father’s “paternity” of the child. Once paternity is established, the court can issue a child support order in a manner similar to that in a divorce situation.
If you’re facing a potential child support matter, a family law attorney will guide you through the proceedings and help you navigate the Georgia Guidelines. To schedule a consultation with one of our attorneys, call (770) 422-4241 or email firstname.lastname@example.org.