When a couple goes through a divorce, several legal matters must be addressed before a marriage is officially over. Once the issue of child custody is determined, spouses must then move onto the issue of child support. While only one parent may have physical custody of a child, both parents must financially support the child. Child support is payments that are made by the non-custodial parent to continue caring for their child after the divorce is final. In Georgia, both parents must financially assist their child until they reach the age of emancipation. Support payments are to be used for matters solely regarding the upbringing of the child.
How Are Child Support Payments Decided?
Child support is typically mandated in the event of a divorce, but there are other circumstances in which child support may be necessary. This can include situations of legitimation, paternity, or even if a Temporary Protective Order is filed. There is not one payment amount that is required for all parents to pay. Every family is different, therefore child support decisions are handled as such.
Child support payments are determined by the court. The Georgia child support calculator was created to determine a payment amount based on each parent’s gross income. The court also considers several other factors when determining child support. This may include childcare expenses, medical insurance costs, dental and vision expenses, extra-curricular activity expenses, and more.
Once the payment amount is decided and the court order is issued, the support payments should be taken out of the noncustodial parent’s paycheck. This allows for easy payment methods as well as a receipt of the payments for proof. If they are not immediately deducted from a paycheck, payments must be made with the knowledge of the court.
Enforcing Child Support
While child support payments are legally required by court order, there are cases in which parents ignore the obligation. When this happens, the state may intervene by holding the parent in contempt of court. This may subject the individual to fines and the possibility of jail time. Penalties may also include a suspended license, garnished wages, intercepted tax refunds, and more.
Modifying Support Payments
If a parent reaches a circumstance in which it is impossible for them to continue child support payments, it is important that they request a modification of their payments. This allows them to change the payments to an amount that fits their new circumstances. This may only be arranged if an individual can show a significant change in their financial ability to meet support payments.
When Does Child Support Stop?
In Georgia, parents are only required to financially support their child until they reach the age of 18. Sometimes, exceptions are made depending on the family. Parents are not obligated to pay for a child’s college education in the state of Georgia unless there was a written agreement between the parents that states otherwise.
Contact our Firm
If you or a family member is seeking representation for a child support case, contact The Alfred Law Firm, LLC. today.
Alfred Law Firm, LLC is proud to serve clients in Georgia when they face legal matters related to family law and criminal defense. When legal issues arise, it is important to have the guidance of an experienced attorney that can help you obtain a favorable outcome. Contact our firm today to schedule a consultation.