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Georgia parents have a right to enforce child support orders

One of the largest understatements around is probably that "being a single parent is difficult." Attempting to care for the physical and emotional needs of a child or children while simultaneously having to make enough money to keep a roof over your family's heads and food on the table can be a daunting task. This is why Georgia, like most U.S. states, attempts to ensure that both parents are required to contribute financial support for a child, even if they are no longer living together. This is generally done through a court order for child support.

As we have pointed out previously, however, a court order is, itself, only so much paper. To be effective, a court order needs to have some force behind it to convince the non-custodial parent that it is in his or her best interests to comply. While some people willingly provide the support required, and more, there are too many instances when a parent does not make his or her payments on time and in full. In these cases, a custodial parent should know what steps to take.

Georgia and federal law provides several mechanisms with which custodial parents can assert their rights. First and foremost is the motion for contempt of court. In these actions, the non-custodial parent must appear to explain why the payments have not been made in accordance with the court's order. This can often result in a 'purge' payment to deal with the civil contempt charge. Further, the hope is that the idea of further trips to the courthouse to deal with these contempt issues will incentivize payment of the order on time and in the correct amounts. There are other enforcement avenues as well, such as suspension of driving or professional licenses and intercepts of tax refunds.

It is important to remember that both parents have a responsibility to their children, and that no one should have to bear these burdens alone. Experienced Georgia family law attorneys know the legal way to go about enforcing these rights and stand ready to side with those who are attempting to do so. For more information, please feel free to see our family law website.

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