There are a couple of steps you need to know to file to receive child support from a child’s other parent in Georgia. Here’s how to file for child support in Georgia.
To attempt to collect child support from a spouse in Georgia, you must first show that you or the other parent are Georgia residents.
Child Support Division
You must decide if you are going to use a private attorney to handle your case, or if you are going to use the Georgia Division of Child Support. If this is part of a divorce proceeding or you are splitting up other property, you will need to use a private attorney to take you through the steps. If you are only trying to receive support for a child, you can process your claim directly through the Georgia DCSS. The filing fee through DCSS is $25.
Georgia Division of Child Support Services
This program works to establish the parentage of a child and obtains court orders defining the right of the child to consistent financial support from both parents. The mission of the DCSS in Georgia is to locate parents, establish paternity, establish and enforce fair support orders, and remove barriers of payment. A child is eligible for financial support from parents until the age of 18, or until 20 they are still enrolled in high school.
There are three ways to begin the process with DCSS:
- Print application off-website and mail
- In-person–make an appointment online or call 1-844-694-2347
Documents the custodial parent must include in their request to the Georgia DCSS:
- Valid state ID, passport, social security card -or- green card for the Parent filing
- Birth certificate, social security card -and- proof of school enrollment for the child(ren)
- Any documents from court orders regarding the children, including divorce, adoption, guardianship, custody, and child support orders from other states.
After a custodial parent files the application, the other parent will be served with papers detailing the request for child support. Once the other parent receives the paper, the court will set a date to determine the child support amount based on a calculation of each parent’s finances. The Georgia DCSS application determines the parentage of the child, and will also need detailed financial information about the parents’ income and expenses to calculate how much money the child should receive in support. DCSS has ninety days to establish a court order.
The parent receiving the request may delay the case if they contest they are not the parent. If a child’s birth certificate or adoption papers do not clearly show both parents’ names, a genetic test may be necessary. The parent can also contest the amount of financial support awarded if they believe the court’s decision is inaccurate.
FAQs on How to File for Child Support in Georgia
How do you receive child support once the amount is awarded by the court?
The court will order the state to file an income-withholding order. This order requests the parent’s employer to garnish (deduct) the child support from their paycheck and send it to the state. The state will disburse that money to the custodial parent. If the person falls behind in child support payments, the DCSS will step in and file contempt charges.
Does the amount stay the same for the child’s entire life?
The DCSS offers a review service that a parent can request if they think the payment amount needs adjusting. Reasons for altering the support include significant changes in income, disability, death, and unexpected windfalls of money. A $100 fee applies to review child support cases.
If you or a loved one would like to learn more about child support in Georgia, get your free consultation with one of our child support attorneys today!
Raising a child is expensive. When parents don’t live together and do not equally share parental responsibilities, the courts often issue a child support order. The amount of child support ordered in Georgia is a reflection of family circumstances, including the income of each parent and the division of parenting time.
Since child support comes in the form of a court order, it carries the full weight of the Georgia family courts. Despite requirements issued by the courts and the fact that child support helps give someone’s children a better standard of living, there are still many people who resent support obligations and try to avoid paying. There are also some people who fall behind on child support due to job loss or other factors outside of their control.
Once someone’s child support obligations are in arrears, they may face enforcement action. What can the Georgia courts do to enforce child support orders?
Bring you back to court
The early stages of child support enforcement may involve a hearing with the family courts. In extreme cases, the courts may eventually issue a bench warrant for someone’s arrest because of past-due child support. During either family court proceedings or a contempt of court hearing, the parent in arrears could face additional penalties beyond the support they will still have to pay.
Tax return interception
The state can lay claim to somebody’s federal or state tax return if they have significant past-due amounts owed for child support. Seizure of the funds to pay child support is typically automatic, which means that someone will never receive their income tax refund at all.
When someone goes multiple months without making child support payments, the state may take aggressive measures to prompt them into compliance, including revoking their licenses. The state could suspend someone’s driver’s license, professional license for a career like accounting or even their recreational license for fishing or hunting.
For those paying support, ensuring that they remain in compliance and taking swift action when personal circumstances will prevent them from paying child support is key to avoiding enforcement action. If someone loses their job or faces similar changes to their circumstances, they can ask for a child support modification to reduce how much they pay. Parents receiving support can ask for enforcement assistance when their ex falls behind.
Learning more about the rules that apply to Georgia child support orders can help those paying and receiving support.