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Most divorcing parents would readily agree that they want their children to be happy and healthy after their own divorce finalizes. How they achieve that sense of security and stability may be up to debate, however, and arguments over child support payments can arise. It is important to realize, either as the parent paying child support or the one receiving it, that it is meant to help your kids, first and foremost.
If you and your ex-spouse are hitting legal speedbumps and emotional obstacles when trying to determine child support, you can turn to Johnson, Kraeuter & Dunn, LLC for trustworthy and compassionate legal guidance. Our Savannah divorce attorneys know that an amicable decision is often the best decision, but it can take real effort to get there. We will work closely with you to establish what your best interest are, how that will benefit your children, and how to negotiate with your ex-spouse.
Let’s start talking about your options today – contact us online.
As with child custody, the divorce court will see child support as an issue that must hinge on the best interests not of the spouses but of the children. If you and your spouse do come up with a child support agreement on your own, it must reflect this sense of priority. The court may reject any plan, no matter how long it took for you to solidify, if it would seem to put undue pressures on your child.
If you cannot seem to come up with an agreement for child support on your own, the state will do it for you. Georgia has a preset formula it will use to determine each monthly payment paid, and who pays it. This impersonal solution is not ideal as it does not consider many unspoken or unofficial financial factors that may be important to you.
Factors the formula uses as variables include:
When monthly child support payments no longer benefit one or both spouses, as well as their children, they can be modified through a court order following a hearing. For example, the paying spouse may ask to pay less because they can no longer afford their basic necessities; or the receiving spouse may ask for more for the same reason. Before a modification will be accepted, the court will need to be shown that a “significant life event” has occurred.
The court views the following as significant life events:
Georgia divorce courts assume that child support payments will come regularly and allow the Georgia Family Support Registry to handle the collection and distribution. In the uncommon situation where a paying spouse refuses or misses several payments, enforcement methods will be utilized by the Division of Child Support Services (DCSS).
Methods the DCSS can use against the delinquent payer include:
Intercepting unemployment benefits
Removing professional and personal licenses
If the missing payments are significant and the intent was there not to pay, it could even constitute an illegal action. Jail time or steep fines can be enacted against someone in such a situation.
When everything is considered, child support is likely going to be one of the most stressful yet important aspects of your divorce. Do not make it more difficult by trying to sort through it on your own. Call (912) 421-2900 to speak to our Savannah divorce attorneys today about child support options. Our 50+ years of collective legal experience will certainly be to your benefit.