Enforce Child Support in Georgia
The First Step to Enforce Child Support is Consulting With and Hiring a Qualified Family Law Attorney
S. Dixon Law is a Qualified Family Law Attorney – We’re Licensed to Practice in Georgia – Enforce Child Support – Hire Us!
There are a number of legal actions you can consider to Enforce Child Support if the parent that does not have custody (the “non-custodial parent”) is not paying court-ordered child support, including:
File “Contempt Action” in Court
A parent who is behind in child support is in contempt of a court order. He or she can be ordered to pay what is owed (including the legal costs you’ve paid to file contempt action). The contempt action must be filed in the court that ordered the child support to be paid.
Get an Income Deduction Order
An Income Deduction Order is the most effective way to Enforce Child Support. This orders the non-custodial parent’s employer to withhold the amount of child support owed from his or her paycheck. If you already have a child support order and it doesn’t contain a paragraph about income deduction, you can go back to court and get the language in the order changed, assuming the other parent is behind in child support payments for more than the amount of one full month’s support.
Contact Child Support Enforcement
The Georgia Department of Human Resources has a Child Support Enforcement Division (CSE). CSE can help get your court order enforced. It can also help get a portion of the non-custodial parent’s tax refund if you request it by August of each year. Of course, you can utilize our legal services by retaining Attorney Stephanie D. Dixon. She specializes in Family Law and has more than a decade of experience. She is available to guide you through legal proceedings and will assist in your attempt to Enforce Child Support.
If the absent parent is receiving workers’ compensation benefits, CSE can contact the Workers’ Compensation Board to get information about the case and pursue collection of child support through garnishment of that parent’s Workers’ Compensation benefits. CSE can also collect child support from the absent parent’s unemployment compensation. O.C.G.A. § 34-8-198
If you know the absent parents owns real estate or personal property, talk to a Famil yLaw Attorney about getting a lien on the land and the house or about levying on personal property. A lien is a claim you have on someone’s personal property, like a car, boat, or television. It could also include real property (a house or land) for payment of a debt (like child support). When a lien is placed on real estate or personal property, the lien must be satisfied (paid off) before the absent parent can sell the property. To levy is to seize or take personal properly in satisfaction (payment) of a legal claim.
File a Writ of Fieri Facias (Fi Fa)
Another way to enforce an order for support is to get a fi. fa. or a Writ of Fieri Facias. You can get a fi. fa. form from the clerk of the court who issued the order. You can then file the fi. fa. and record it on the general execution docket of the superior court of any county in the state in which you have reason to believe the absent parent may own real estate (house and/or land). A recorded fi. fa. is used to place a lien on the property and allows the proper law enforcement officer to levy on other personal property. However, these procedures are complicated and you should contact our team for assistance. To Enforce Child Support more quickly, it’s always a smart idea to have a qualified attorney guide you through legal proceedings.
File a Garnishment
If the absent parent is at least thirty days behind in the amount of support he or she owes, you can file a garnishment. You can garnish bank accounts and tax refunds. You can also file a garnishment against an insurance company.
If the parent is sixty days behind on child support, but has the ability to pay, the court can deny or suspend his or her driver’s license, professional license, hunting license, or fishing license.
What Are Income Deduction Orders?
As of January 1, 1994, ALL child support orders must include a provision for wage withholding (taking child support from the non-custodial parent’s paycheck) unless there is a written agreement between the parents that provides for another arrangement.
Orders that don’t contain this provision can be modified to include a wage withholding provision. You can ask the court for this change in a regular modification proceeding or in a contempot proceeding. To do this, the non-custodial parent must be behind in child support payments for more than the amount of one month’s support. Copies of the income deduction order must be served by mail on the non-custodial parent and his or her employer.
Hire Attorney Stephanie D. Dixon to help Enforce Child Support.