When parents in Georgia and elsewhere divorce, they must consider how
they will financially support their children. But sometimes, making child
support payments on time can be difficult for the non-custodial parent.
When parents continually default on their obligations it affects their
children, the primary custodial parent and taxpayers. According to a recent
report, an accumulation of unpaid child support has resulted in over $50
billion in costs to taxpayers.
The Office of Child Support Enforcement, a federal government department,
has reported that over $105 billion is owed in unpaid child support. If
a parent fails to provide child support to the custodial parent and causes
that parent to seek public assistance for the child, the payments are
supposed to be reimbursed to the government. According to reports, for
some women who are poor, child support makes up more than 40 percent of
their income. The government may enforce parents to pay child support
by garnishing paychecks, receiving tax refunds and revoking privileges
given by states, such as driver's licenses.
For parents who are no longer able to fulfill their child support obligations
due to life changes, such as a job loss or medical emergency, they may
consider getting their payments lowered. Once parents recognize they are
unable to meet their child support agreement or court order obligations,
they might seek the other's parent's assent to lower the payment
amount while still trying to contribute as much as they can. Parents unable
to pay may also file a request with the court to modify child support.
While there are many life changes that come with a divorce, parents'
responsibilities to their children remain the same. It is important to
remember that even in difficult financial circumstances, meeting the child's
best interests is the main goal in every child support case.