Child Support Laws in Georgia: What They Are and How They Work: Part 2

If you aren’t married to your child’s other parent, you’ll most likely be dealing with child support obligations until your child turns 18. That’s a long time to feel like you’re paying money without a clear idea of how the process works. While we’ve already offered some helpful information in part one of our blog series, we’re continuing the flow of knowledge with these additional tips.

How to Create a Child Support Obligation

Every Court in Georgia will automatically create a child support order when a child’s parents get a divorce. If you and your child’s other parent are not married, either parent can petition the court to determine child support. Either way, it is a complex process and your livelihood depends on the outcome, so it’s important to hire a family lawyer like our team at Oxendine Law to help you through.

Child Support Modifications

Your circumstances can change significantly over the course of 18 years, and these changes could allow you to request a modification to your child support obligation. In most cases, you may qualify for a modification if either parent’s financial situation changes significantly. If a child’s financial needs change it may warrant a child support modification too. Regardless of the reason, you will need to provide evidence and make a strong argument before the Court, so it’s important to get help from a family law attorney.

Ending Child Support

Some parents ask, “When will my child support obligation end?” The most common scenario is that your obligation ends when the child turns 18, or graduates from high school, whichever comes latter. This is true regardless of whether the child is still living with a parent at that age or not. Your child support obligation may also end before your child turns 18 in certain cases too, such as if your child gets married, passes away, or becomes emancipated. It is also important to note that, unless it is specifically accounted for in your child support order, your child support obligation will not automatically change when one child “ages out” and there is still one (or more) remaining minor children. You will have to petition the Court to modify your child support obligation when one child is no longer eligible to receive support.

For any child, both parents have an obligation to support them financially throughout their childhood, and Georgia’s family law system is set up to ensure that this happens. While this blog can offer you a working knowledge of the basics, it’s crucial that you have an expert to guide you throughout the process. Whether you need to set up or modify your child support order, contact Oxendine Law to get started on your case.