All parents in Georgia have a special responsibility for their children, whether it is day-to-day emotional support and physical care or monthly financial support. In the case of noncustodial parents, the child support they must pay covers a range of child-care expenses, including school and health-care costs. Some parents, though, never pay any support or do so intermittently. Recently, this has been exaggerated by a poor economy and high unemployment rates.
Usually, a parent who fails to pay child support faces wage garnishment, license suspension and even jail time. In Georgia, however, experts noted that punishments such as these rarely solve the problem of delinquent or nonsupportive parents. Because of this, a child-support service was created near Georgia to help parents understand their obligations and how they can meet them.
The Child Support Services Problem Solving Court aims to help parents become better providers for their children. It works to teach parents to be more responsible by furthering their education and eventually finding and holding good-paying jobs.
Recently, the court in Coweta held a graduation ceremony for 14 participants. As the participants received their certificates, the organizers of the child-support program expressed pride in helping parents rebuild their lives and families. Similar courts in 17 more areas in Georgia are now being planned.
Helping supporting parents to understand that becoming a good provider for their children is possible should go a long way to preventing cases of unpaid support. Unpaid child support negatively affects both children and society.
If supporting parents face economic challenges from events such as job loss or illness, they have a good chance of being able to have their support modified to ensure that they can pay but without putting themselves in financial jeopardy.