Handling Child Support, Custody and Paternity Issues in Georgia for Over 20 Years
The legal obligation to pay child support often arises amid turmoil and conflict as part of a divorce or in litigation for Establishment of Paternity. Because the litigation involves sensitive financial and child custody issues, legal proceedings to determine child support can add to an already stressful situation.
If you are a parent facing a court order to pay child support, you may have concerns about your ability to pay and maintain your standard of living. If you are involved in a divorce and/or a party who is seeking child support, you may be unable to pay your mortgage or utilities when the other parent fails to comply with their obligation. Whether you are the party paying or receiving, these types of disputes are typically full of conflict and hostility. The attorneys at McLeod Law Firm, P.C. have been representing parents in both divorce and paternity actions for over 20 years. Our lawyers can help you determine your rights and make sure that you are treated fairly.
Child support is paid by one parent to the other parent to help provide for the care of their children. A formal court order can be imposed in the process of a divorce or as part of a paternity action between unmarried parents to establish the parentage of the minor child.
An obligation to pay child support is determined by the custody arrangement, the income of the parties and other specifically defined expenses. If the incomes of the parents differ substantially, a parent may be obligated to pay even if the parent has joint physical custody. While expenses such as day care, health insurance and necessary educational expenses are considered, a the parent’s other expenses, such as living costs (i.e. rent, utilities, etc) are not considered by the court.
David McLeod is a family law attorney that understands that child support can be confusing so we have provided additional information below, but the best way to learn about your rights and obligations is to call us at (770) 536-0202.
A paternity proceeding is a legal process to formally establish a parent-child relationship through a court finding that an individual is the father of a child. If the parents are married at the time of the child’s birth, then paternity generally is not an issue. Paternity needs to be established for unmarried couples to create a right to child support and child custody or visitation. Establishing paternity is the first step in a child support case and also to establishing visitation rights for child born outside of marriage.
Establishing a Child Support Order
Once the court determines parentage, it will establish a child support order. That is accomplished by applying a statutory formula based on timeshare of the child, income of the parties and child related expenses like daycare, health insurance and education.
The obligation to pay child support is taken very seriously. If you are having difficulty making your payments, it is important to take immediate action by consulting an experienced Georgia family law attorney. If you have a legitimate basis for a modification, such as a significant change in custody arrangements or loss of your job, arrearages may accrue based on a calculation that is no longer appropriate. This may mean that you end up obligated to pay more than you should have owed and failure to pay can even land you in jail.
McLeod Law Firm, P.C. provides quality legal representation for its clients across North Georgia including Gainesville and Hall County, GA as well as Cumming, Dawsonville, Forsyth County, Jackson and Dawson County Georgia. We continually update our law practice to incorporate the most appropriate communication, technological, and legal advances in an effort to better serve our clients. We are located in historical downtown Gainesville, Georgia.
CALL (770) 536-0202 TODAY FOR YOUR INITIAL CASE EVALUATION!