In Georgia, both parents of a minor child are responsible for supporting their child financially. The amount a parent is responsible for is calculated based on how much each parent makes, expenses each parent pays, such as daycare or health insurance, and who the child lives with. Child support will be determined in divorce, custody, paternity and other family law cases involving minor children. Once an initial support order is put in place, it may only be modified if a certain amount of time has passed or if the parent seeking a modification can show that circumstances have changed significantly since the original order.
How to Seek Child Support
There a couple of ways that you can seek a child support order.
Option 1: File a Petition for Support and Paternity in the Superior Court in your County.
Go to the court and ask the clerk for the forms to file for child support. Your county may have different documents they want you to file, but at the very least they will require you to fill out a Petition for Support and a Verification.
You will also need to submit a Child Support Worksheet. Go to the Georgia Support Commission website and follow the directions for filling out the worksheet. (http://csc.georgiacourts.gov/) If you live outside of the Atlanta area and you need help filling out the worksheet, please call the Child Support Worksheet hotline at (404) 526-8609.
Option 2: Start a case with the Division of Child Support Services
You may open a case with the Division of Child Support Services (CSS). CSS can help with the following issues:
- Location of the Non-Custodial Parent (NCP), for child support purposes;
- Establishment of paternity, for child support purposes;
- Establishment of a child support order;
- Modification of a child support order;
- Enforcement of a child support order;
- Collection and distribution of amounts collected;
- Collection of spousal support, only when included in an order for child support and the child has not been emancipated; and
- Calculation and collection of interest on overdue child support pursuant to a support order originated in Georgia.
You can reach CSS on their website (http://dcss.dhs.georgia.gov/) or by calling 1-844-694-2347
Getting the Help You Need
While you can pursue a child support order or modification on your own, an attorney can ensure that you get the most equitable outcome. Our lawyers are experienced in helping parents with child support issues and make sure they are treated fairly. Our child support lawyers can help you navigate such situations and will also make sure all aspects of the case are handled with proper honesty and responsibility such as ensuring all income is accounted for and the gross income is calculated properly. Child support can be a complicated issue. You want the best for your child and we will make sure you are not taken advantage of.