Fighting For The Rights of Georgia Child Support Clients
Georgian parents have an obligation to support their children until the age of emancipation (age of majority), when a child is presumed to be financially independent. The age of emancipation in Georgia is 18 years or until the end of high school, but many cases call for child support to extend beyond that. If you are getting divorced and child support is a contested issue, contact The Alfred Law Firm. We are passionate attorneys. We work closely with each client, tailoring our strategy to meet their legal needs. If you need a law firm to fight for your rights as the potential payor or payee of child support, contact The Alfred Law Firm.
Why is child support requested?
Child support is an important aspect of most family law cases in the State of Georgia, whether it is a divorce, legitimation, paternity or even a Temporary Protective Order (TPO) action. Child support actions can also be pursued as a stand-alone issue by the Child Support Office of the Department of Human Services (DHS) on behalf of the custodial parent or guardian of the minor.
How does the court decide on child support?
The Courts have little discretion in determining the child support amount. The amount is determined by the Georgia child support calculator based on each parent’s gross income. Other items that may be factored into the child support worksheets are childcare expenses, medical insurance costs, dental and vision insurance expenses, extra-curricular activity expenses, etc. Therefore, the more expenses paid by the non-custodial parent, the higher the child support amount will be, unless one or more deviations apply to lower the amount.
How are payments made?
After the court’s order is issued, the support should be deducted from the noncustodial parent’s paycheck, often requiring immediate income withholding. It provides an easy method for payments and receipts of payments. If the payments are not made directly from the paycheck of the payor, they should be paid at the direction of the court.
Enforcing child support
If a party willfully ignores a child support order, the state can intervene in a number of ways. For one, the person who ignores the order could be held in contempt of court, subjecting the noncustodial parent to fines and possible jailtime. In addition, the court can suspend his or her license, put them in jail, garnish their wages, intercept tax refunds, file liens, and more. If your life circumstances have changed to the point where it is impossible to pay the full amount of your child support obligation, it is important to request a modification instead of disregarding the court.
Modifying child support
If you can demonstrate a significant change of circumstances that makes following a court order impossible, the court is willing to hear evidence to support a change. The legal standard for a court to agree to a modification is quite high and having an attorney on hand is best.
College expenses and child support
Georgia’s laws on child support only provide ordered financial support to the age of 18, unless the child is in high school. Unless otherwise agreed to through a written agreement between parents, Georgia has no statute or law that obligates any parent to paying for college expenses or tuition.
Contact our firm
The Alfred Law Firm understands how important the issue of child support is to the parties involved. We are dedicated legal professionals who will work tirelessly for each client. Whether you are the custodial or noncustodial parent, contact The Alfred Law Firm for an initial consultation to discuss your legal matter.