Child Support Basics in Georgia

What is Child Support?
Child support is the result of a relationship or a marriage ending when one parent has to make payments to the other party on a regular basis. The payment is to help the custodial parent financially in regards to taking care of their child. Even if their is joint custody of the child one parent may still be obligated to pay child support based of the parenting relationship. In a situation where one parent has sole custody of the child, the non custodial parent may be able to receive child support for days the parent is watching the child.
What is included in Child Support?
Child support is a financial benefit the custodial parents receives from the non-custodial parents. The benefit can include money for:
  • Food
  • Clothing
  • Shelter
  • Health Insurance
  • Education Expenses
  • Child Care Expenses
  • Extraordinary Medical Expenses
  • Visitation Travel Costs
  • Extracurricular Activities
How Long Does Child Support Need to Be Paid?
Child support is paid to the custodial parent until the child reaches the age of 18. Some situations require child support to be paid until the age of 20.
How to File for Child Support in Georgia?
You do not have to be divorced to start receiving child support payments. Pre-Divorce Orders can be issued when the parents are living separately and the custodial parent files the necessary paperwork. If granted, the non-custodial parent will have to start paying child support. This can be a good idea in contested divorce cases where proceedings can be longer than an uncontested divorce.
There are also Temporary Child Support Orders. These tend to be quicker to schedule since these are temporary orders to address issues in the divorce settlement until the divorce is finalized. However just because the court decides in the favor of the temporary orders doesn’t mean that decision will carry over into the final decree.
If no unusual situations exist, child support will be part of the divorce settlement you and your attorney draw up. This will include the details of the child support decided between you and the other parent. Once the divorce is finalized, child support will start as described in the divorcee decree. Changes to this document can be made depending on the extenuating circumstances.
What If I am Not Married and Need Child Support?
These cases are more complex. These situations can involve getting your attorney to help locate the biological parent, serve them with legal papers, and help provide accurate payments likely to be approved by the court. In marriage cases, biological parenthood is established by being married when the child is born. Parents who have children out of wedlock have to get the non-custodial parent to submit to a DNA test in order to prove they’re the parent. Once this is established, a support order can be filed.