What is an Attorney’s Role in Child Support Agreements?

Divorce can often place former spouses into difficult financial situations. These situations can be even more difficult if you must support your children in addition to yourself. To cope with the change in financial situation, you may be able to receive child support to help cover the costs associated with continuing to raise your children.

If you are a parent in Alpharetta who is going through a divorce, a family law attorney can help. An Alpharetta child support lawyer can help you determine an arrangement that will help ensure your family is provided for during and after your divorce.

What is an Attorney’s Role in Child Support Agreements?

Child support is complex and influenced by several factors. An attorney can help parents understand Georgia’s child support laws and identify issues and circumstances that a court may take into consideration prior to rendering its judgment.

In many instances, the non-custodial parent (the spouse who no longer lives with the former couple’s children following the divorce) is responsible for remitting support payments. Georgia State regulation O.C.G.A. § 19-6-15 dictates that each parent’s gross income will be the primary determining factor in calculating these monthly remittances. The exact amount a spouse must pay is then determined by factoring in numerous adjustments and deviations based on the individual’s and the child’s specific circumstances, needs, and expenses. In Alpharetta family courts, a child support worksheet is used to determine the range of child support amount given these factors.

What is the Typical Duration of an Order?

In most cases, child support orders remain in effect until the child receiving it attains emancipation, gets married, or reaches adulthood. Until that time, child support orders typically remain unchanged. However, courts may hear modification requests.

Modifications are typically only granted if either parent can demonstrate a significant change in their financial circumstances or prove that a major change in the child’s current and future financial needs has occurred.

Agreeing to Terms Out of Court

Certain spouses enter into marital contracts such as prenuptial, postnuptial, or separation agreements. These contracts enable couples to set forth guidelines for how specific legal, financial, and personal matters should be settled if they decide to split.

In most cases, however, child support questions are not stipulated in such documents. Even if the couple offers suggestions regarding how child support issues should be resolved, the court will be the final deciding factor and must make decisions in the child’s best interests.

Enforcing Alpharetta Child Support Orders

Unfortunately, some parents ordered to pay child support do not always do so. In such instances, the Georgia Department of Human Services Division of Child Support Services may be able to help. This State government agency will attempt to locate the parent in question and establish a support order. Should the parent still fail to provide appropriate child support, they could be subjected to a variety of disciplinary actions, including a contempt order.

A child support lawyer in Alpharetta can advise parents of other legal actions one spouse can initiate, such as filing a contempt motion, to try and recoup support payments from a parent who has failed to carry out this responsibility.

An Alpharetta Child Support Attorney Is Here to Help

Child support can be an important asset in ensuring your child’s/children’s well-being following a divorce. However, this process requires understanding a great deal of information that can be confusing.

An Alpharetta child support lawyer can be an ally and help you sort through this information. Together, you can work towards a plan that will help provide for your children so that you have one less thing to worry about following your divorce.

Michael D Barber
Georgia Lawyer specializing in DUI, Drug Charges & Criminal Defense