Georgia Parents: Not Getting Child Support Like You Should?

The concept is simple: both parents should financially contribute, from each’s ability, to a child’s needs. In many circumstances—after a divorce, or separation of unmarried parents—a legal order needs to be established that ensures the financial security of a particular child or children. 

Just because an order for child support is in place does not mean the paying parent will automatically comply. If you are the receiving spouse in a child support order and stop receiving payments from your ex, you have options for getting the money your child needs. Remember: you shouldn’t feel guilty for putting your foot down and demanding payments to which you and your child are legally entitled. Unpaid child support is referred to in the legal system as “child support arrears.”

Motion For Enforcement

You can ask the appropriate Superior Court to bring an action of contempt against the non-paying parent. To do this, you must have a prior court order establishing child support. After filing the motion for enforcement, the judge will set a court date to determine whether your ex should be found in contempt of court. Among other things, the judge will try to find out if the failure to pay child support is willful or non-willful.

You should have legal counsel with you at the court hearing. Beyond the unpaid child support, you have a good chance at recovering some or all of your attorney’s fees and, even, interest on the unpaid child support. If the paying parent is behind on paying by more than 60 days, his or her state-issued licenses (driver’s, hunting, or professional) could be suspended.

Unpaid Child Support Can Turn Into a Felony

In certain cases, nonpayment of child support can become a criminal issue—not just a civil law matter. A misdemeanor for nonsupport in Georgia carries a possible prison sentence of one year and a criminal fine of up to $1,000. Those who accrue three or more misdemeanor nonsupport charges or leave the state to avoid paying child support may be charged with a felony. Georgians convicted of felony nonsupport face up to three years in prison.

There are no statutes of limitations for child support arrears, which means you can attempt to get back unpaid child support that goes back for more than a decade. In most cases, even filing for bankruptcy does not absolve a paying parent of his or her obligations.

The Anderson Firm is Ready to Support You and Your Child

Navigating the legal system is extremely difficult without the help of an experienced attorney. The Anderson Firm has helped countless parents get fair child support orders and use the tools afforded by the Georgia legal system to compel parents to pay what they are ordered to pay. Please call The Anderson Firm at (404) 521-1111 today to set up an appointment.

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The Anderson Firm, LLC

Precious Anderson knows her clients want quick, painless solutions for their small to mid-sized business problems.

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