Georgia enforces its child support laws strictly, and has one of the most
effective collection programs in the entire country. Yet, despite efforts,
local authorities, here in Atlanta and throughout Georgia, continue to
face challenges when it comes to the collection of child support, partly
because many non-custodial parents deliberately evade their child support payments.
A recent article in another state accused one of the candidates in a local
commission election of owing child support payments totaling $21,694.08.
The mother of the child involved filed a petition of contempt for non-payment
in Cobb County recently. The candidate chose to write a public letter
to the news publisher where he refutes the accusation, stating that his
family is his top priority.
According to sources, support payments owed were already in arrears in
Georgia, where he fathered a child in 1995 and where the mother resides.
The petition claims that he was ordered to pay $269 a month, beginning
in the summer of 2005. The man is one of four candidates vying for a district
commission seat in his area.
He was reportedly arrested last year on a criminal charge stemming from
his non-payment of child support. He was sentenced to 12 months in county
jail. The sentence was suspended, and he was placed on probation. He later
appealed the conviction in circuit court, and the charges were dismissed.
The candidate admitted in his letter to the public, which was addressed
to the newspaper, that he does owe child support. However, he denied evading
payment intentionally. Nonetheless, this may certainly put a dent in his
electoral campaign. People who are seeking public office should consider
meeting their child support obligations before running for any sort of office.
Missing child support payments is unfair to the child, who will be deprived
of the desired quality of life because of non-supporting parents. Those
who are struggling to meet child support payments may consider speaking
to a family law professional for a child support modification. It is always
better to modify the agreement than to miss payments that can lead to
serious and damaging penalties, including jail time.