Parents must support their children financially until they reach adulthood. If parents are going through a separation or divorce, they may have questions about the child support process in Georgia.
The Georgia Department of Child Support Services (DCSS) requires that the parents first open a child support case and pay an application fee. DCSS also needs to know where the noncustodial parent lives or works for the child support order.
Before a court can order support, paternity must be determined. If paternity has not yet been established, DCSS can order a paternity test. The test is conducted with a saliva sample or a blood sample.
The court will determine child support based on the Georgia Child Support Guidelines. These guidelines consider the income of both parents and how many children require support.
The court may also take the cost of medical insurance into consideration in determining the amount of child support to award.
The child support is taken from the parent’s paycheck and in most cases will be withheld immediately. The child support must be paid as directed by the court order.
Enforcing child support orders
Parents who do not pay child support or do not provide the required medical insurance for their children may be found in contempt of court. The court may enforce the child support order by withholding funds from types of income like unemployment, workers compensation benefits or tax refunds.
The parent’s failure to pay may also be reported credit bureaus, result in bank account liens or suspension of his or her driver’s license or professional license.
An experienced family law attorney can help anyone with questions about the child support process, child custody and related matters.