According to a 2015 USDA report, parents spend an estimated $233,610 to raise a child through age 18. After a relationship breakup, most single mothers face financial struggles trying to give their children comfortable lives by themselves. In such situations, child support can be a crucial part to help you get funds that will take care of your kids’ needs especially in this challenging era of Covid 19 pandemic.
Unfortunately, not all noncustodial parents pay child support in full and on time. In 2015, only 44 percent of custodial mothers received full child support payments, according to the U.S. Census Bureau. As a custodial parent, the courts may help you enforce a child support order from the noncustodial parent as long as one of you lives in Monroe County.
It’s important, then, to take a step back and understand what exactly child support is, how to file, and get it faster.
Who Is Obligated to Pay Child Support?
According to Georgia child support law, noncustodial parents are required to make child support payments to custodial parents. If a non-biological parent is responsible for parenting, both biological parents must provide financial support to their children.
You don’t have to be married or divorced to receive child support from your spouse. As long as your spouse is the biological parent to your children, then they’ll need to pay their portion of child support. Once the child support order is made, the noncustodial parent should financially support your child until they turn 18 years.
Beginning A Child Support Case
Typically, the support process starts once your request for child support is filed. You can apply for child support at any time, whether it’s immediately after the birth of your child or even after a separation.
You can open a child support case by filling out an application form for assistance with the Department of Human Services (DHS). You can complete the application online and mail it together with the application fee to child support offices in Monroe County. However, you won’t pay any fee if you’re a beneficiary of the Temporary Assistance to Needy Families (TANF) program or receive Medicaid benefits.
Locating Absent Parents
When opening a case, you also need to provide the Child Support Services with more information about your child’s father’s residence and workplace. Knowing the location of the other parent may help speed up the child support process. Providing as much info about the noncustodial parent as you can, for instance, social security numbers, makes it easier for the Child Support Services in locating parents before starting the case.
Apart from knowing the location of the noncustodial parent, you need to also establish your child’s paternity before getting a child support order. If you and the other parent were married when the child was born, then they’re considered the legal father. If you were not married at that time, the child’s paternity could be established through an administrative or court order.
If the man doesn’t acknowledge paternity, DCSS may also use other ways to establish legal fatherhood for your child, such as genetic testing. In such instances, it would help if you availed yourself and the kids for genetic testing which can be done either through buccal swabbing or a blood sample test.
Establishing A Support Order
Monroe County’s child support program offers assistance to custodial parents with establishing support orders under the state’s child support guidelines. The Division of Child Care Services will use the information you provided, like your income and other info about the noncustodial parent, to determine the amount of child support you should receive.
The Georgia Child Support Guidelines consider factors such as the income of both parents, number of children, and medical insurance coverage. If the noncustodial parent can obtain a more affordable medical insurance coverage for your child, the court will use that in determining the amount of financial support you’ll be getting. If you’ve not provided any salary details of the other parent, the court will assume they make minimum wage.
Receiving Child Support Payments
Once the court orders child support, the law requires the payments withheld from noncustodial parents’ paycheck. The income withholding order is submitted to your ex-partner’s employer, who then deducts child support from their paycheck and pays it to the state.
This ensures you always receive child support payments in full and on time from the other parent. If the support cannot be withheld from their paycheck, then they must be paid through the Georgia Family Support Registry and to no one else.
After the funds sent are received by the state, the state is then responsible for distributing child support payments to your bank account. This means you don’t have to ask for child support from the other parent.
Enforcing a Child Support Payment Order
If the other parent doesn’t fulfill their child support obligation as ordered, either by not paying the full amount or not paying at all, they’re considered in contempt of a court order. In such cases, the court may give an income-withholding order to make sure they never miss a single payment. If your child’s father is unemployed, the support order may be enforced by withholding unemployment insurance payments. For self-employed individuals, child support enforcement services can seek revocation of their professional or business licenses.
Child Support Enforcement Services in Monroe County can also help you in obtaining financial support from the non-paying parent by;
- Intercepting state income tax refunds
- Intercepting lottery winnings
- Passport revocation and denial
- Reporting the delinquent payors to credit bureaus
- Seizing of properties owned by the delinquent parent
Contact Experienced Family Law Attorneys Today
At Hanks, Ballard & Barth, LLC, we have a team of expert attorneys ready to assist custodial parents in Monroe County seeking child support. Our family law attorneys are professionals, strong, and dedicated to fight vigorously for your interests. Check out our website for additional information and take note of the services we offer.
Seeking child support in Monroe, GA? Contact us at (770) 267-8988 or visit our office in Monroe at 302 North Broad Street Monroe , GA 30655 for an appointment and discussions of your legal needs. We’ll help guide you through the child support process and take the pressure off you particularly now when we’re dealing with Covid 19 pandemic.