Child Support: "I want to make sure everything is in order with my child support"
If you're going through a divorce, legitimation case, or other custody case, child support is likely to come up at some point. Therefore, understanding child support laws in Georgia is essential - and having a solid legal team on your side can ensure you know the laws and that they are applied properly to your case. Child support is typically ordered in cases where parents are separated or divorced, and the child primarily resides with one parent. The non-custodial parent is then required to contribute financially to help cover the child's expenses. However, there are also issues where a parent may be required to pay a third-party custodian for support of their child - for example, if a parent loses custody and a grandparent or relative obtains custody, then the parent may be required to pay that person for the support of the child. In Georgia, child support guidelines are based on a formula that takes into account each parent's income, the number of children involved, and costs specific to the child, among other relevant factors.
Overview of Child Support in Georgia
When it comes to child support in Georgia, determining who pays and how much can be a complex process. Typically, the non-custodial parent is responsible for making child support payments, although there are exceptions to this rule. The amount that is paid is calculated based on a number of factors set forth in the Georgia Child Support Guidelines, including the income of each parent and the specific needs of the child. It is important to note that child support payments in Georgia can continue until the child turns 18 years of age, or until they graduate from high school, whichever occurs later. However, there are also circumstances where payments can continue beyond this time frame. Since every case is different, it's important to work with an attorney or legal team in order to make sure your support amount is appropriate for your situation.
When Child Support is Ordered
In Georgia, child support is generally ordered in cases involving divorce, separation, or legitimation of a child. Though it may be ordered in any case involving custody of a minor child. This is to ensure that both parents contribute financially to their child's needs and well-being - which they are required to do by law. Child support can be ordered on a temporary basis while the custody case is pending, to ensure that the children are cared for properly. Once the case is finalized, the temporary support amount may change or it may stay the same, depending on the needs of the child and ability to pay of the parents. However, there are some situations where child support may not be ordered in a domestic case, such as when both parents have similar incomes and share equal custody and support responsibilities, or when the child is emancipated or over the age of majority. It's important to understand the legal requirements and exceptions when it comes to child support in Georgia, and seek advice from a trusted legal professional to navigate the process smoothly.
How to Change Child Support
If you're seeking to modify your child support amount in Georgia, you may be wondering if a court order is necessary. The truth is - yes, you do need a court order signed and filed with the court before you can change your child support amount in any way. The most common reasons for modifying child support are significant changes in income or living arrangements, such as losing a job or experiencing a substantial increase in expenses. To change the child support amount in Georgia, you'll need to file a petition with the court, called a modification action. If you and the other parent agree on the change in amount, you can easily transition to the new plan without much delay, provided all your paperwork is in order. This is called an uncontested modification of child support, and is the best and smoothest way to change support. If you do not come to an agreement, be prepared to go to mediation and also potentially have a court hearing in front of the judge, where you both will need to prove your side for increase, decrease, or no change in child support. Mediation and court of course cost time and money, however depending on the case, it may be very much worth it to fight for your position. Our experienced family law team can help guide you through this process - whether uncontested or contested - and ensure your rights are protected every step of the way.
Ways to Pay Child Support
When it comes to paying child support in Georgia, it is important to have a verified record of payments and receipt. This is why cash is not generally advised as a form of payment. However, there are several other convenient and secure ways to make payments, including through Zelle, money transfers, and checks. With Zelle and money transfers, payments can be made directly from your bank account to the recipient without the need for physical cash or checks. Checks are also a reliable option that allows for a paper trail of payments. By utilizing these payment methods, you can ensure that your child support payments are not only secure, but also easy to track and manage.
What Happens when a Parent Doesn't Pay Child Support
When it comes to child support in Georgia, the law takes it very seriously. Unfortunately, there are instances where one parent may not pay their fair share. In situations like this, the other parent can take legal action to enforce the payment of child support through contempt proceedings. Essentially, this means that the non-paying parent will be held accountable for their actions and may face fines, wage garnishment, or even jail time. It's also important to note that past due child support payments cannot be forgiven, even if the child is now over the age of 18. The law here in Georgia requires all past due amounts, plus interest, to be paid in full. While this situation can be frustrating, it's important for parents to remember that child support is meant to benefit the child and ensure their well-being.
How We Can Help
At Your Law Firm, we understand that navigating child support proceedings can be an overwhelming experience for parents. That's why we're here to help. Our team of experienced professionals is dedicated to assisting you every step of the way, whether you are seeking an initial award of child support, modifying an existing amount, or enforcing a support order. We believe that every child deserves the best possible care and support, and we work tirelessly to ensure that your child's needs are met. Don't hesitate to reach out to us for legal assistance - we're here to support you and your family.