Lawrenceville Child Support Attorney
Handling Child Support Cases Throughout Gwinnett County
In the state of Georgia, children have the right to be financially taken care of by both parents. When a divorce occurs, that financial provision is often secured through child support, or monetary payment that is generally made by the parent who does not have physical custody of the child (or the "non-custodial" parent). This type of support allows the child to continue receiving his or her basic needs, such as shelter, food, clothing, medical care and more. Child support is awarded by a court. A judge can use various factors—such as the child's needs and each parent's financial resources—to determine who will pay child support and how much should be paid.
Whether you are the custodial or the non-custodial parent, problems related to child support can be very frustrating. While parents have a duty to provide for their children, some of them sadly fail or refuse to provide that financial support their children need, even when there is a court order to do so. These failures or refusals can occur for many reasons, such as questions over paternity (or legitimation), financial reasons like loss of employment, the fact that the parent is not allowed to see the child, or preoccupation with a new family. Regardless of the reason a parent gives for not paying, that individual is still liable to provide his or her child or children with financial support, according to Georgia's child support laws.
Penalties for Failing to Provide Support
When a parent fails to meet his or her child support responsibilities, the consequences can be very serious. In the state of Georgia, a person who does not pay child support as directed by the court can be held in contempt of court, meaning he or she can be forced to spend time in jail, pay a fine or both, according to the Georgia Department of Human Services' Division of Child Support Services (DCSS). If this parent is a father, he can even be ordered to enroll in a Fatherhood Program, along with having to pay all current and past-due child support.
There are certain steps DCSS can take in order to ensure that child support is actually paid or that attention is brought to the issue or nonpayment. This includes the following:
- Withholding the amount due from the parent's paychecks, unemployment benefits or worker's compensation benefits
- Intercepting income tax refunds, both state and/or federal
- Reporting the parent's failure to pay to the credit bureaus
- Suspending or revoking the parent's licenses, such as those for driving and for certain occupations
- Intercepting lottery winnings that value more than $2,500
- Filing liens for seizure of matched bank accounts, property and lump sum worker's compensation settlements
- Revoking, suspending or denying the parent's passport (when he or she owes more than $2,500 of child support)
When individuals find that they cannot financially handle their child support obligations, it is vital that they seek modifications of their divorce terms. Simply failing to pay without taking the proper action can be harmful to both themselves and their children. Divorce term modifications can be achieved with the help of a skilled attorney.
Taking Action—Call an Attorney Today
Whether you are seeking child support or are having difficulty paying the child support you owe, it is in your best interest to contact an experienced lawyer immediately. A divorce attorney in Lawrenceville can provide you with superior and professional legal representation for your case—all you have to do is call Fox Firm, P.C. to get the process started. Our firm, which is built on attorney experience in variety of family law areas, can aggressively defend your rights in regards to your child support case. We serve clients throughout Gwinnett County, Georgia and the surrounding areas.
At Fox Firm, P.C., we believe that children have the right to receive fair financial provision from both parents. Whether you are going through a divorce or a legal separation, or were never married, Fox Firm, P.C. hopes to work out a solution that will benefit both you and your child.