Financially supporting children is an important part of having children.
As most Georgians know, noncustodial parents generally pay the support
while custodial parents accept the money on behalf of their children and
use it to meet their everyday expenses.
Child support is a subject of great public interest when it comes to celebrities
and other high-profile individuals. Perhaps that explains the recent public
fascination with the battle between Bode Miller, an Olympic skier, and
his former girlfriend. Miller has been accused by her attorney of failing
to make monthly child-support payments for the couple's 13-month-old
son. The couple was previously embroiled in a child-custody dispute.
As noted, the goal of child support is to meet a child's everyday needs.
Without it, the custodial parent often finds it difficult to provide for
the child without making big cuts to household budgets, balancing bill
payments or finding a job that still allows time with the child.
Supporting parents who have difficulties paying the support can ask to
have their existing child-support agreements modified. This usually happens
when the supporting parent is experiencing financial difficulties due
to unemployment or a serious medical condition. Parents who seek to reduce
their monthly support order must provide substantial proof that supports
their claims before a judge will approve the request.
Similarly, noncustodial parents can also request an increase in the amount
of child support paid to meet a child's growing needs.
Parents who are currently dealing with child support issues can try alternative
dispute resolution methods such as mediation and collaborative law. Litigation
is always an option if both parities cannot come to terms. If the case
heads to court, then both parents should seek legal assistance to protect