When it comes to child support, many people have questions about how the legal system works and what their rights and responsibilities are.
One common question that often arises is, “Does Georgia do back child support?”
To get right to it the answer is yes, Georgia does allow back child support in certain situations.
In this blog post, we will explore the concept of back child support in Georgia and answer some related questions.
Is Retroactive Child Support Available in Georgia?
Retroactive child support refers to the payment of child support for a period of time before a court order was issued.
However, in Georgia, no legal provisions for retroactive child support exists. There must be a court order for support in order for child support to be demanded by one parent to another.
In some rare instances, the courts in Georgia may order reimbursement of specific expenses paid by one parent for the birth or care of the child prior to a court order. But this is not common.
How is Retroactive Child Support Calculated in Georgia?
Since Georgia does not acknowledge retroactive child support, there is no way to calculate it.
The only way to enforce payment of child support is to have a legal court order requiring one parent to pay child support to the other parent.
What If I Owe Back Child Support in Georgia?
If you owe back child support in Georgia, it is important to take action and catch up on payments as soon as possible.
Failure to pay child support can result in serious consequences such as wage garnishment, suspension of driver’s license, or even jail time.
It is important to communicate with the custodial parent and come to an agreement on a payment plan.
If you are unable to make payments, you may be able to modify your child support order through the court.
Just know that, until your payments are legally changed via court order, you are required to pay that amount.
And, even if your child turns 18 or other age of majority, you still owe any back due child support up until that point. Plus, you owe interest on amounts not paid during the child’s minority.
What Is Back Child Support?
Back child support, also known as arrears, refers to the unpaid child support payments that have accumulated over time.
These unpaid amounts can accrue when a parent fails to fulfill their financial obligations towards their child.
Back child support can arise due to various reasons, such as non-payment of child support, late payments, or underpayment.
In Georgia, the noncustodial parent is legally obligated to pay child support until the child reaches the age of 18 or graduates from high school, whichever occurs later.
If a parent falls behind on their child support payments, they may be subject to enforcement actions by the court.
And remember: you’re still on the hook for unpaid child support payments even after the child reaches the age of majority – plus interest. So make sure you get caught up on your payments as soon as possible.
If you can’t make payments due to loss of income, hire an attorney as soon as possible to help you bring a modification action to ask the court to decrease your monthly payments. You’ll still be responsible for the original amount per month until the court issues another order with a different amount. So don’t wait.
How Does Georgia Handle Back Child Support?
In Georgia, the court has several options to enforce child support orders and collect past-due payments. Some common methods include:
The court may order the noncustodial parent’s employer to withhold a portion of their wages to satisfy the child support obligation.
If the noncustodial parent receives income from sources other than employment, such as self-employment or rental income, the court may order those sources to be garnished as well.
Intercepting Tax Refunds
The Georgia Department of Human Services can intercept federal and state tax refunds to collect back child support.
Driver’s License Suspension
The court may suspend the noncustodial parent’s driver’s license if they fail to pay child support as ordered.
Contempt of Court
If a parent willfully fails to pay child support, they can be held in contempt of court, which may result in fines or even jail time.
It’s important to note that the court takes the enforcement of child support orders seriously and has various tools at its disposal to ensure compliance.
Georgia does recognize the concept of back child support.
If you find yourself in a situation where you are owed child support or are falling behind on your payments, it’s crucial to consult with an experienced family law attorney who can guide you through the legal process and protect your rights.
Remember, this blog post is for informational purposes only and should not be construed as legal advice.
If you have specific questions about your own child support case, it’s best to consult with an attorney who can provide personalized guidance based on your unique circumstances.