Raising children is expensive. According to an article on CNN Money, recent estimates put the expense at approximately $245,000 (and that doesn’t include college!). Considering the nearly insurmountable costs of raising a child, why should any parent do it alone? If you are a single parent not receiving court-ordered child support, here are some things to consider:
1) You can (and should) pursue a parent for unpaid after the parent is at least thirty days behind on child support. That doesn’t mean that you run to court because of one missed payment, but if the payments are becoming sporadic or have stopped altogether, with no explanation, then you really should considering reporting the parent to the court or child support services.
2) Many parents feel bad about pursuing the other parent for child support. While it makes sense to be understanding if a person loses a job or sustains an injury, that does not excuse years of neglecting their obligation to provide for their child. Give the parent some time, and maybe discuss returning to court to modify the child support obligation if there has been a change of circumstances, but don’t let them off the hook completely. Regardless of personal problems, both parents should still be responsible for raising your child.
3) There are two ways to pursue a parent for unpaid child support – you can file a contempt action with the Court or you can report the non-paying parent to Georgia Division of Child Support Services, who will then use state resources to assist you in collecting child support. Although many people shy away from involving the state in such personal issues, the state has an arsenal of tools available, such as withholding orders, tax return intercepts, and license suspensions, which can aid in recovering child support. You may not get the quick response and personal service that an attorney can provide for you, but this is an excellent option for many parents.
3) Consider what you can provide for your child with the missing child support. Even at the statutory minimum child support amount of $100 per month, that amounts to $21,600.00 for an 18-year period. What could you do with that amount of support for your child?
If you or someone you know is owed child support, please call 678-535-3232 to schedule an appointment with a family law attorney to discuss your options (serving Paulding County, Bartow County, Cobb County, Douglas County, Haralson County and Polk County).