The state of Georgia has child support laws in place that are designed to help parents provide for their children in the event of a divorce or separation. To receive support, the primary parent must open a case with the Georgia Child Support Services. The noncustodial parent will be located and a child support order will be issued. Child support orders are paid by the noncustodial parent and are based on the income of the noncustodial parent and the number of children in the family.
Noncustodial parents in Georgia are responsible for obtaining and maintaining adequate health care coverage for their minor children. The court will consider all factors involved, such as the availability of health insurance to both parents. If the noncustodial parent has access to health insurance, the court will generally order this parent to obtain the insurance for the children.
The state of Georgia has the right to enforce child support orders. The noncustodial parent who is ordered to pay support may have child support deducted from each paycheck. This is known as wage garnishment and it is designed to help noncustodial parents remain current with their child support payments. In Georgia, state law requires immediate garnishment of wages once the child support order is in place. Noncustodial parents who do not have their wages garnished must make their child support payments to the Georgia Family Support Registry as outlined in the court order.
Noncustodial parents who refuse to pay their child support, or are continually late with support payments, may face serious consequences. A judge may find the parent in contempt of court for failure to pay support or for failing to maintain adequate health care coverage for the children as ordered by the court. The court may also enforce the payment of child support by garnishing wages, intercepting federal tax refunds, reporting the delinquency to credit reporting agencies, intercepting lottery winnings, suspending driver's or occupational licenses, filing liens on bank accounts or property, requiring the parent to post a bond to secure payment of past due support and revoking or denying passports. The Georgia family court will also periodically review and modify orders of support to reflect the current cost of living. Noncustodial parents who fail to remain current with child support payments may also face jail time and be ordered to pay a penalty. Georgia family courts may also enroll any noncustodial parent who is not able to pay child support due to a loss of employment or illness in the Fatherhood Program. This program was created by the Georgia Division of Child Support Services in 1997 and works specifically with parents who wish to pay support but cannot. This program assists fathers and mothers who are the noncustodial parent in finding employment in positions that earn wages sufficient to provide for their needs as well as to meet their child support requirements.