Child Support Lawyers in Atlanta Helping You Understand Child Support Guidelines
Going through a divorce is one of the most difficult things a person can experience in their life. Along with the emotional pain that often comes with a breakup, many legal issues need to be sorted out. One of the most common and important legal issues in any divorce is child support. Determining how much child support should be paid and who will pay it can be a complicated and contentious process. That is why it is important to have an experienced Atlanta child support lawyer on your side.
When parents get divorced, they must figure out who will pay for their children. It is important because it helps make sure that the children have what they need after their parents are no longer together. Child support can help pay for things like food, clothes, and school supplies. It is important to have an experienced lawyer helping you through the divorce process so that you can get the best possible outcome for your children.
At Atlanta Family Law Group LLC, we understand the importance of getting child support payments right. We have years of experience helping clients navigate the complex waters of Georgia child support law. We know what factors courts consider when determining child support payments, and we can help you make sure your case is presented in the best light possible. Contact us today at (404) 963-9452 for a free consultation about your case.
What is Child Support?
Child support is a payment made by one parent to the other for the support of their children. In Georgia, child support is typically paid until the child turns 18 years old. However, there are some circumstances in which child support may be ordered for a longer period of time.
For example, if the child has special needs, child support may be ordered for a longer period. In most cases, the parent who has custody of the child will receive child support payments from the other parent. The amount of child support that is paid each month will depend on several factors, including the income of both parents and the number of children involved. The Georgia Child Support Commission has created guidelines that are used to determine how much child support should be paid in each case.
In some cases, both parents may agree on an amount of child support that is different from what the guidelines would require. However, any agreement between the parents must be approved by a judge before it can be put into effect.
If the parents are unable to agree on child support, the court will hold a hearing to determine how much child support should be paid. At the hearing, both parents will have a chance to present evidence and argue their case. The judge will then decide based on the evidence presented and the Georgia child support guidelines.
The judge may order one of the parents to pay a certain amount of child support each month or may require that the support payments be made through the Georgia Child Support Registry. The registry is a state agency that collects and distributes child support payments. In some cases, the judge may order that the non-custodial parent’s wages be garnished to ensure that child support payments are made on time.
How is Child Support Calculated in Georgia?
Child support is an important part of any divorce where children are involved. Whether you are the one paying the support or receiving it, there are many factors involved in determining how much it will be, when it can be changed, and how long it will last. Whether you are currently going through a divorce and having a support order crafted for the first time, or you feel there is a need to have the child support adjusted, we are here to help.
In general, child support is calculated based on Georgia child support guidelines (O.C.G.A 19-6-15). The legal guidelines given to the judges, however, can be fairly flexible, and a lot is left to the opinion of the judge. This is why it is so important to have an attorney there to argue for your rights.
When a judge is hearing a child support case, they will consider both the guidelines and the specifics of the case they are hearing. These combined factors are then evaluated, and the judge will issue an order based on the best interests of the children. Some case-specific factors that are typically considered include:
- The age of the children
- The income of each parent
- Existence of children from other relationships
- Child custody arrangements
- Special needs
With each case being unique and child support orders often lasting for many years, you want to be sure that your case is handled by an attorney with lots of experience. We have helped many people in and around Atlanta with all types of child support cases, and we would be honored to help you too. Please contact us to discuss your options and determine what the best next steps will be.
What do I do If I Cannot Afford to Pay Child Support?
If you have been ordered to pay child support and are unable to make your payments, it is important to understand your options. The first step is to try and negotiate a modification of the child support order with the other parent.
If you are unable to reach an agreement, you can file a petition with the court to modify the child support order. The second option is to request a suspension of child support payments. This is typically done when the non-custodial parent is facing financial hardship or has lost their job. The court will consider the circumstances and may suspend payments for some time.
If you are still unable to make payments, you may be subject to enforcement actions by the state. This can include wage garnishment, seizure of assets, or denial of your passport. It is important to take action if you are unable to make child support payments. Otherwise, you may be facing serious consequences.
The attorneys at our law firm can help you understand the child support guidelines in Georgia and how they may apply to your case. We can also assist you with negotiating a fair and reasonable child support agreement. Contact us today to schedule a consultation.
Is it Possible to Have My Child Support Modified?
The circumstances of the parents and children involved in a child support case can change over time. When this happens, it may be necessary to have the child support order modified. A modification is typically only possible if there has been a significant change in circumstances since the original child support order was issued.
Some examples of changes that could warrant a modification of child support include:
- A change in custody arrangements
- The loss of a job or a significant decrease in income
- An increase in income
- The birth of additional children
- Changes in the needs of the children
If you believe that your child support order should be modified, you will need to file a petition with the court. The petition must state the reason for the request and provide evidence to support the claim that there has been a change in circumstances. Once the petition has been filed, a hearing will be scheduled so that both sides can present their evidence and argue their case. The judge will then decide on whether to modify the child support order.
If you are seeking a modification of child support, it is important to note that you cannot simply stop making payments or change the amount you are paying on your own. If you do, you could be held in contempt of court, which could result in fines or even jail time. The only way to have a child support order modified is to file a petition with the court and receive a new order from the judge.
If you are considering seeking a modification of your child support order, it is important to speak with an attorney as soon as possible. An experienced attorney will be able to review your case and help you determine if you have a valid reason for seeking a modification. They can also help you gather the evidence you will need to persuasively argue your case in court.
Please contact us to speak with an experienced Atlanta child support lawyer about your case. We offer free initial consultations, and we would be happy to answer your questions and help you understand your legal options.
Why is Hiring an Attorney Important in Child Support Cases?
While the child support guidelines provide a general framework for how support should be calculated, there is still a lot of room for interpretation. This is why it is so important to have an attorney on your side who knows how to effectively argue your case and protect your interests.
An experienced child support attorney can help you in many ways, including:
- Calculating an accurate estimate of the child support, you should receive or pay based on the circumstances of your case
- Helping you gather evidence to support your claim for a modification of child support
- Arguing your case in court and working to reach a fair agreement with the other party
- Enforcing a child support order if the other parent fails to make payments
- Defending you against claims of contempt of court if you have been accused of failing to pay child support
Sometimes, the other parent may try to hide assets or income to lowball their child support payments. An experienced attorney will know how to uncover these hidden assets and make sure that they are considered when support is calculated.
Child support lawyers in Atlanta can help you understand Georgia’s child support guidelines and how they may apply to your specific situation. Every family is unique, so there is no one-size-fits-all answer when it comes to child support. An attorney can help you understand how the guidelines may be applied in your case and estimate the amount of support you should receive or pay.
If you are going through a divorce and you have children, it is important to have an experienced child support lawyer on your side. Please contact Atlanta Family Law Group LLC at (404) 963-9452 to discuss your case with an attorney. We offer free initial consultations, and we would be happy to answer your questions and help you understand your rights and options under the law.