Child support is a court-ordered payment, that is money paid by a non-custodial parent to help support a child. In Georgia, all child support and custody issues must be settled either by court-approved agreement of the parties or by trial. Parents cannot waive the right to modify child support because it is a right that belongs to the child or children. Your child has a legal right to financial support from both parents. Generally, it is the parent without custody who has the responsibility to pay his or her share of support to the parent who lives with the child. The parent who lives with the child is called the primary custodian.
Child support is calculated on an income share basis, which means the child support is based on the income of both parents. A formula using worksheets determines child support. The amount of child support can be increased or decreased depending on the specific facts of each case. The Georgia Child Support Commission has an online calculator you can use based on Georgia’s child support guidelines. It is available for you to use to get a good idea of how much child support your child should get.
There are many legal actions you can consider if the parent that does not have custody is not paying the child support that the court ordered. You can:
- File a “Contempt Action” in court.
- Get an income deduction order.
- Contact child support enforcement.
- Get a lien.
- File a writ of fieri facias (fi. fa.) where the non-custodial parent has property.
- File a garnishment.
- Request that a court deny or suspend the other parent’s license.
For more information on child support, please visit Georgia Legal Aid: What Should I Know About Child Support?