A Georgia non-custodial parent who has a job change that results in a lower income may need to change the amount of child support paid. This is called a child support modification. A parent can go through the court system to apply for a child support modification, and the court will decide whether the income change merits a reduction of the payment amount.
When a child in Georgia is emancipated, if one parent makes child support payments, they may no longer be obligated to continue those payments. Emancipation most often occurs when a child turns 18. However, child support payments might continue after this point. A child might also be emancipated for other reasons. For example, economic independence, military service, marriage and abandoning the parental home are all reasons that a person might be considered emancipated.
If Georgia noncustodial parents who are under a court order to pay child support become disabled, the custodial parents might wonder whether they will continue to receive those payments. If the disability means that the noncustodial parents will no longer be able to pay the same amount of child support that they paid previously, they will need to go to court to ask for a modification in support. The parent will continue to be obligated to pay the same amount in child support until this modification is approved.
A study has found that fathers who do not pay child support are also less likely to spend time with their children. Georgia fathers who are behind on support may also be less likely to provide their child with items like toys and food or to take part in activities such as helping them with homework.
Some single parents in Georgia may struggle to support themselves and their children. This is where child support from the other parent becomes important, but one study indicates that child support is on the decline. In 2014, less than half of eligible parents had a child support agreement in place compared to 60 percent 10 years earlier.
Child support decisions can be contentious in Georgia divorce courts. Unfortunately, high-profile cases tend to shape the public's opinions about such issues. For example, celebrities often are subject to tremendous scrutiny when it comes to child support payments.
While most people are aware that paternity is automatically established if the parents are legally married at the time of the child's birth or that it can be established via DNA testing conducted by the Georgia Division of Child Support Services, they may be unfamiliar with how the process works in relation to unwed parents who agree on this frequently contentious issue.