Child support is a crucial aspect of ensuring the well-being of children whose parents are no longer together. In Atlanta, GA, child support is governed by state laws and enforced by the Georgia Department of Human Services' Division of Child Support Services (DCSS). However, what happens when a parent fails to make their child support payments? Can they receive back payments for missed child support payments in Atlanta, GA?
The Importance of Child Support in Atlanta, GABefore delving into the topic of back payments for missed child support, it is essential to understand the importance of child support in Atlanta, GA. Child support is a legal obligation that parents have to provide financial support for their children's basic needs, such as food, shelter, and clothing.
It also covers other expenses like education, healthcare, and extracurricular activities. In Atlanta, GA, child support is determined based on the income of both parents and the number of children involved. The non-custodial parent (the parent who does not have primary custody of the child) is typically responsible for making child support payments to the custodial parent (the parent with primary custody).Child support plays a crucial role in ensuring that children have access to the resources they need to thrive. It helps cover their basic needs and allows them to maintain a similar standard of living as they would have if their parents were still together.
Understanding Back Payments for Missed Child Support in Atlanta, GAWhen a parent fails to make their child support payments on time or at all, they are considered to be in arrears. This means that they owe back payments for the missed child support.
In Atlanta, GA, back payments can accumulate quickly and can have serious consequences for the non-custodial parent. According to Georgia law, child support payments are considered past due on the first day of the month following the month in which they were due. For example, if a parent fails to make their child support payment for the month of January, it is considered past due on February 1st. This means that the parent is already in arrears and owes back payments for January. It is important to note that back payments for missed child support in Atlanta, GA cannot be waived or forgiven by the custodial parent. Only a court order can modify or eliminate child support obligations.
Therefore, even if the custodial parent agrees to waive or forgive back payments, the non-custodial parent is still legally obligated to pay them.
Enforcement of Child Support Payments in Atlanta, GAWhen a parent fails to make their child support payments, the DCSS has several enforcement tools at their disposal to collect the back payments. These include:
- Income Withholding: This is the most common method of collecting child support payments. The DCSS can order the non-custodial parent's employer to withhold a portion of their income and send it directly to the custodial parent.
- Interception of Tax Refunds: The DCSS can intercept any state or federal tax refunds owed to the non-custodial parent and use them to pay off their child support arrears.
- Suspension of Driver's License: In Atlanta, GA, the DCSS can suspend a non-custodial parent's driver's license if they are more than 60 days behind on their child support payments.
- Contempt of Court: If a non-custodial parent continues to fail to make their child support payments, the custodial parent can file a motion for contempt of court. This can result in fines, jail time, or both for the non-custodial parent.
Can I Receive Back Payments for Missed Child Support Payments in Atlanta, GA?The short answer is yes, you can receive back payments for missed child support payments in Atlanta, GA.
However, it is not an automatic process. The custodial parent must take action to enforce the child support order and collect the back payments. If you are owed back payments for missed child support in Atlanta, GA, you can contact the DCSS and request that they take enforcement action. You may also want to consider hiring a family law attorney who can help you navigate the legal process and ensure that your rights are protected. It is important to note that there is a statute of limitations for collecting back payments for missed child support in Atlanta, GA. In most cases, the DCSS can only collect back payments for up to two years from the date they were due.
However, there are exceptions to this rule, such as if the non-custodial parent has been out of state or has avoided paying their child support obligations.