Child support is a crucial aspect of divorce and separation cases involving children. It is a legal obligation for parents to provide financial support for their children, even after the end of a marriage or relationship. In Atlanta, GA, child support is governed by state laws and guidelines that determine the amount and duration of payments.
What is Child Support?Child support is a court-ordered payment made by one parent to the other for the financial support of their child. It is intended to cover the child's basic needs, such as food, shelter, clothing, and medical care.
The amount of child support is based on the income of both parents and the needs of the child. In Atlanta, GA, child support is calculated using the Income Shares Model. This model takes into account the income of both parents and the number of children they have. The court also considers other factors such as childcare expenses, health insurance costs, and any special needs of the child.
Who Pays Child Support in Atlanta, GA?In most cases, the non-custodial parent (the parent who does not have primary custody of the child) is responsible for paying child support. However, both parents have a legal obligation to financially support their child.
If the custodial parent has a higher income than the non-custodial parent, they may be required to pay child support as well. It is important to note that child support payments are not just limited to biological parents. In Atlanta, GA, stepparents may also be required to pay child support if they have legally adopted their stepchild or if they have been acting as a parent figure and providing financial support for the child.
When Does Child Support End?The duration of child support payments in Atlanta, GA depends on the age of the child and other factors. In most cases, child support ends when the child turns 18 or graduates from high school, whichever comes later. However, if the child has special needs or is still in school, child support may continue beyond the age of 18. Child support may also end if the child becomes emancipated, meaning they are legally considered an adult and are no longer under the care of their parents.
This can happen if the child gets married, joins the military, or becomes financially independent.
What Happens if Child Support is Not Paid?Failure to pay child support in Atlanta, GA can have serious consequences. The court takes child support payments very seriously and has various enforcement measures in place to ensure that payments are made on time and in full. If a parent fails to pay child support, the custodial parent can file a motion for contempt with the court. This means that the non-paying parent will be brought before a judge and may face penalties such as fines, wage garnishment, or even jail time. In addition, the non-paying parent may also face other consequences such as suspension of their driver's license or professional license, interception of tax refunds, and negative impact on their credit score.
What is the Deadline for Paying Child Support in Atlanta, GA?The deadline for paying child support in Atlanta, GA is determined by the court order. Typically, child support payments are due on a monthly basis and must be paid on or before the due date specified in the court order. In some cases, parents may agree to a different payment schedule as long as it is approved by the court.
However, it is important to note that any changes to the court-ordered child support payments must be made through the court. Informal agreements between parents are not legally binding and can lead to legal issues in the future.
Can Child Support Orders be Modified?Child support orders can be modified if there is a significant change in circumstances. This can include a change in income, job loss, or a change in the needs of the child. In order to modify a child support order, the parent must file a motion with the court and provide evidence of the change in circumstances. It is important to note that child support orders cannot be modified retroactively.
This means that any changes will only apply from the date the motion was filed, not from the date of the change in circumstances.