Let’s break down the question of “what can a child support lawyer do for me” question. By law, parents are obligated to financially care for children under the age of 18. No matter if the parents live together, are separated, divorced, or were never married, to begin with, parents remain fiscally responsible for their children. Child support orders ensure children are well provided for, by the appropriate parties.
If you have been searching for a child support lawyer near you, you’ve come to the right place! Here you will find everything you need to know to be fully informed of the child support process, and exactly how a child support attorney can help.
Understanding the Child Support Process
The child support process begins when either parent opens a child support case through the Department of Human Services. An application for assistance is filed, along with an application fee, in order to open a case. The petitioning parent will either need to know the location of the other parent, or provide evidence that will assist the Department of Human Services in locating the other parent.
How Is Child Support Determined?
A child support order will not be issued until paternity is established. If the parents were married at the time of birth, paternity will be on file and effectively established. However, if parents were unmarried at the time of the child’s birth, a court will need to verify legal fatherhood. If the father will not acknowledge paternity, genetic testing may be ordered by the court.
Once paternity has been confirmed, the parent seeking child support may obtain a court-appointed child support order. The amount of child support granted is determined by several state-specific guidelines. In Georgia, these guidelines factor in the gross income of both parents, childcare costs, and the cost of healthcare. Based on this information, each parent’s support obligation is then established. However, there are circumstances in which the court may deviate from the presumptive amount. These circumstances may include large discrepancies in income between parents, individualized child expenses, parenting time, and alimony payments.
Implementing Child Support
Typically, the Department of Human Services will withhold a portion of both, or one parent’s paycheck in order to meet the child support obligation. In fact, state law requires immediate income withholding in the majority of cases.
Parents who do not pay their child support may be held subject to several sanctions. These include:
- Seizure of federal and state income tax refunds
- Revoked driver’s, professional or occupational licenses
- Reporting of delinquencies to credit bureaus
- Revocation or denial of passport
- Seizure of lottery winnings
Negotiating Child Support Payments
Locating the right child support attorney is crucial if either parent selects to modify or negotiate the child support order. To modify child support, either upward or downward, a parent must prove there has been a substantial change in a parent’s financial situation or income. Other factors that may prompt a child support modification could include changes in the child’s financial needs, a parent’s involuntary loss of income, and failure to exercise court-appointed visitation. A legal professional proficient in Georgia statutes is an immense asset when navigating the courts to establish proper child support payments.
If you are seeking the best child support lawyer in Atlanta, allow the attorneys at Marple Rubin Family Law to assist you in obtaining the support your child custody needs. Securing a highly experienced child support attorney is just a click or phone call away!