Child Support Answers
If you are going through a divorce, or have already been ordered by a court to pay child support, you may have questions regarding your rights and responsibilities. Child support is typically awarded because one parent has more custody than the other, and therefore needs more financial support from the other parent. A court wants to ensure that the best interest of the child is being met both emotionally and financially and therefore requires both parents to share in the financial responsibility of raising a child. Some of the questions you have may be answered below.
Is Child Support Mandatory? Can I Get Out of Paying Child Support?
If ordered by a court in the state of Georgia, child support is never optional. Remember that this money is going to raise your child, not support the other parent. If you do not pay the child support according to the order of the court, the penalties can be severe. The court has the right to garnish your wages from your employer or attempt to obtain the money in other ways if you do not pay the required child support amounts. (GA also allows for a person who fails to pay child support to have his license and passport suspended, and incarceration until the pay a purge amount).
Can I Ever Modify The Child Support Order?
Yes, but usually not immediately. The state of Georgia recognizes that circumstances change and that a child support order may not apply later when employment changes, a child’s needs change, or there is a change in the location of one of the parents. Whenever there are significant and substantial changes in the status of either parent or the child, there may be grounds to modify the original child support order.
How Was the Child Support Amount Calculated?
The state of Georgia has a specific calculation that is used to determine child support amounts. Factors may include the gross monthly income of the parents, who pays for health insurance, and the number of children the child support order will apply to. There are other factors that may change the calculation and can be decided upon at the discretion of the judge.
If I File For Bankruptcy, Do I Still Have To Pay Child Support?
Yes. Child support obligations will never be discharged or dismissed in any type of bankruptcy case.
How Long Do I Have To Pay Child Support?
Under most circumstances, a parent will have to pay child support until the child reaches 18 years of age, dies, marries, or otherwise becomes emancipated; provided that if a child becomes 18 years old while enrolled or attending secondary school on a full-time basis, then the child support shall continue for the child until the child has graduated from secondary school or reaches 20 years of age, whichever occurs first. There may be other circumstances such as a special needs child, or parents agreeing to pay for college expenses that can extend child support obligations past 18 years of age.
Let Us Help You Today
Contacting an experienced Atlanta child support attorney can help you understand your rights with respect to your child support order. If you are considering a divorce and have questions about how child support will work in your case, or if you are already divorced and are interested in modifying your child support order due to a change in circumstances, contact The Solomon Firm at 404-565-0641 today for a free consultation.