Child Support Laws in Georgia

By Andrine Redsteer

Georgia's Department of Human Resources, Division of Child Support Services, is responsible for enforcing the state's child support laws; this includes establishing paternity -- if a child's parents aren't married -- collecting child support payments, distributing child support payments and beginning administrative procedures when a non-custodial parent fails to make timely payments according to the terms of the child support order.

Georgia's Department of Human Resources, Division of Child Support Services, is responsible for enforcing the state's child support laws; this includes establishing paternity -- if a child's parents aren't married -- collecting child support payments, distributing child support payments and beginning administrative procedures when a non-custodial parent fails to make timely payments according to the terms of the child support order.

Division of Child Support Services

Georgia's Division of Child Support Services enforces the state's child support laws and is responsible for overseeing the child support collection process. Through DCSS, a custodial parent may open a child support case by filing a child support order, get assistance in locating an absent parent and establish paternity. A non-custodial parent who is ordered to pay child support may also seek assistance through DCSS by enrolling in the Fatherhood Program. This program helps non-custodial fathers and mothers by providing assistance in finding full-time employment if making child support payments proves difficult due to economic hardship.

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Income Shares Model

In 2007, Georgia revised its child support guidelines to take into account both the custodial parent's income and the non-custodial parent's income; these guidelines are codified in O.C.G.A. ยง 19-6-15. The "income shares" model calculates child support payments based on a combination of both parents' adjusted gross income. This means that after deductions are factored in, such as pre-existing child support orders and self-employment taxes, a determination is made as to the basic child support obligation as expressed in the state's statutes.

Enforcing Payment

If a non-custodial parent fails to make timely child support payments, Georgia's DCSS may seek specific remedies as prescribed by state law. DCSS accepts child support payments through its website or via mail. However, when a non-custodial parent fails to pay by using either one of these avenues, DCSS may attempt to collect using various means pursuant to state law. For example, if a non-custodial parent is behind in payments, DCSS may withhold child support payments by garnishing paychecks, intercepting tax refunds and intercepting lottery winnings.

Imposing Penalties

Georgia's child support laws allow DCSS to impose penalties on non-custodial parents who fail to abide by child support orders. For example, DCSS may file contempt of court actions against a delinquent parent; this may result in jail time. Moreover, DCSS may report a delinquent parent to credit bureaus, suspend or revoke his driver's license, place liens on his real estate and bank accounts, and revoke his passport.

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What Happens When You Don't Pay Child Support in Illinois?

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What Are the Sentencing Guidelines in Michigan for Nonpayment of Child Support?

In Michigan, when a court orders a noncustodial parent to pay child support, he must do so until the child turns 18 years old. If a child is still in high school, the noncustodial parent must provide support until the child turns 19 1/2 years old. When a parent violates a child support order, he may face criminal prosecution, jail time and/or fines.

South Carolina Child Support Laws

Like other states, South Carolina has laws that direct how child support is established and enforced when parents split up, including how paternity is established. As long as the custodial parent lives in South Carolina, South Carolina’s laws and helping agencies can be used, even if the noncustodial parent lives in another state. Many of South Carolina’s child support laws and procedures are similar to those of other states.

Laws on Child Support Arrears in Nevada

Nevada’s laws on child support payments, including arrearages, are covered in Chapters 125B and 130 of Nevada Revised Statutes. While state agencies are available to help, you may wish to consult with an attorney if you have questions about how these laws apply to your specific situation.

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