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Understanding Child Support Law In Georgia

Child Support Law In Georgia

What Expenses Does Child Support Cover In Georgia?

Child support is intended to cover food, clothing, shelter, essential expenses, and a certain percentage of normal extracurricular activities. What does “a certain percentage of normal extracurricular activities” really mean?

Suppose you have a child who’s exceptional at a sport and headed for the Olympics. In that case, you will not get a child support order that completely covers their training. However, there may be an argument for some additional child support in order to cover some of that training.

Does The Paying Parent Have A Say In How The Child Support Is Spent?

The parent paying the child support has no say in how the child support is spent. Only the parent receiving that child support makes a decision about how the funds are used.

Will The Parent Who Has the Majority Of Time With The Children Receive Child Support During The Divorce Process?

The parent who has the majority of time with the children will usually but not always receive child support during the divorce process. The custodial parent will get support in most cases, but not all, because everyone’s situation can differ. Also, in some cases the trial date is early enough that temporary support is not set.

How Is Child Support Enforced In Georgia? What Happens If The Paying Parent Is Not Making Payment?

If the paying parent is not making child support payments, the payee parent may wish to go to child support enforcement. The payee parent could also get an attorney or try to enforce payment themselves. The process is to file a Contempt Petition indicating that the paying parent is not complying with the court order.

At that point, the judge has to decide on things:

  • Did the other parent disobey the court order?
  • Did they do so willfully?

If the other parent willfully fails to obey the court order, the court can put them in jail or fine them. The court can implement an order that could say the other parent will pay support at X dollars a month extra for the amount in arrears. Sometimes the court will make an order for immediate incarceration if the payor misses another payment.

If the judge finds that they couldn’t obey the court order, they could dismiss the case or only set arrears instead of punishing them with jail and fines.

What Is A Family Court Modification?

Family court modifications are instances where the court takes an existing order and changes it.

Is There A Waiting Period In Georgia Before Going To Court To Request A Modification Of A Family Law Order?

You can file a petition for modification at any time there’s been a significant change of circumstance. But what if there hasn’t been a change in circumstance?

If you want to change visitation without a change of circumstance, you must wait to do it until two years after the initial order was entered. If you want to modify child support administratively with child support enforcement, you can ask for a review after three years without a change of circumstance.

How Long Will It Take For Child Support To Change If I Am Granted A Modification?

In most cases, if the court grants you a child support modification, that change takes effect when the modification is granted.

For example, say you file a petition, and it takes six months to be heard. At the end of that six months, you go to court. When you go to court, you have a trial, and say the judge makes a decision that day. That day is usually when the amount of child support takes effect.

Is There Any Way My Child Support Amount Could Go Up If I Request A Modification?

Your child support amount could increase when you request a modification. Child support is a formula based on your and the other person’s income. Suppose you are the receiving parent and your income has gone up, while the paying parent’s income has gone down. In that case, the amount of child support could be decreased.

On the other hand, suppose you two got back together briefly and had another child. If you’ve had another child since the court made the first child support order with the same mother or father, then the new child support order would have to consider both children. In this case, the amount of child support would likely increase.

My Child’s Other Parent Has Requested A Modification For A Child Support Order. Is There Anything I Could Do To Stop The Petition Or Appeal For Decision If The Court Grants A Modification?

Suppose your ex requests a child support modification. In that case, there isn’t anything you can do to stop the petition if they have a change of circumstance. If they don’t have a change in circumstance, you can argue that the petition should be dismissed.

But suppose the court decides, and it’s not in your favor. In that case, you can appeal it to the appellate court, which will hear your appeal argument and make a decision.

With the guidance of a skilled attorney for Family Law Cases, you rest assured knowing that Nancy Burnett will produce results.

For more information on Expenses Covered By Child Support In Georgia, an initial consultation is your next best step. Get the information and legal answers you seek by calling her office at (706) 280-7152.

Burnett Law

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(706) 280-7152

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