When divorce or separation occurs, there can be a lot of questions throughout the process regarding how things will work in the long run — especially when children are involved. For example, Georgia parents may have a lot of questions about child support. This week, this column will answer a few common questions about this particular topic.
Question number one: Who can seek child support? In the state of Georgia, both parents are responsible for financially providing for their children. However, the individual granted primary custody may seek child support, as he or she would bear the greater financial burden without such monetary assistance.
Question number two: How is child support paid to the receiving parent? Many would like to think it is as simple as writing a check, but it doesn’t work that way. In Georgia, the employers of paying parents withhold funds from their paychecks and then send those funds to the Division of Child Support Services; the money is then loaded to a state-issued payment card, which is given to the receiving parent. It can take up to six weeks after a child support order is approved in court before the first child support payment is loaded to the card. Those who would rather the money be deposited directly into a bank account may make such a request by filling out the appropriate application.
Question number three: How does the court decide how much child support is owed? Every state has its own formula for figuring out how much a support-paying parent must pay. It generally involves looking at his or her income and how many children require support. This will give a baseline amount. Of course, the court may increase the amount beyond this for a number of reasons, such as a child’s special needs, lifestyle maintenance, education expenses and extracurricular activities — to name a few.
Obviously, there are many more questions that can be addressed in this forum. Parents in Georgia who are dealing with child support issues can speak to an experienced family law attorney who will be able to address all of their questions and concerns. Help in achieving a fair order of support can then be provided.
Source: childsupport.georgia.gov, “Frequently Asked Questions”, Accessed on Jan. 22, 2018