The application of child support is a mechanism that allows a child to be financially supported by both of his or her parents after a divorce, as well as providing a method for both parents to share in the costs associated with raising a child. Typically, when parents divorce, a child will reside primarily with one parent, known as the custodial parent. Since the child lives with that parent the majority of the time, that parent will often be responsible for a larger share of the child's expenses. By assessing child support, a court is able to balance these costs by ordering the non-custodial parent to pay a portion of their income to share in these expenses.
In his popular song "Beautiful Boy," John Lennon sings the following statement: "Life is what happens to you while you are making other plans." This sentiment probably rings true for many Georgia residents. Unexpected life changes and surprising occurrences pop up without warning, leaving individuals struggling to accommodate new circumstances.
Courts award child support as a means to prevent one parent from having to shoulder an undue portion of the expenses related to raising children. Circumstances arise, however, that may necessitate an alteration of the amount or length of such payments.
Failure to pay child support can result in significant consequences. A popular T.V. personality from "Love & Hip Hop: Atlanta," Stevie J., was recently arrested in Georgia for allegedly failing to pay child support for over ten years. Stevie J., who is also a Grammy-award winning producer, was recently arrested for failure to pay over $1 million in child support. According to authorities, despite earning $27,000 a month, the T.V. personality and producer has failed to pay child support for his two children for over ten years. The criminal complaint notes that the children were born in 1997 and 1998 to Stevie J. and his ex-girlfriend. In 1999, he was ordered to pay $6,600 a month in child support which was later increased to $8,500 a month. Stevie will face criminal charges in New York, though he was arrested in Georgia.
Child support can be assessed to prevent the custodial parent from having to shoulder too large a share of the costs associated with raising a child. Parents must be aware of their responsibilities regarding child support.
Child support is not a way to punish a non-custodial parent by taking away assets from them, but rather as a means to allow a child to be supported by both parents and for the parents to share in any related costs. A man was recently brought back to Georgia court from another state based on allegations that he lied to authorities and hid assets in his divorce case. The man fled the state during the divorce from his wife and failed to show up for the final hearing in the case. The court granted the wife full custody of the couple's son and did not grant the man any visitation rights as he was viewed as a danger to his wife and child. A warrant for the man's arrest alleged that he attempted to hide $500k in investment accounts during the divorce and claimed he only had $1,000 available. He is also reportedly $300k behind in child support payments to his former wife. The court used the concealed accounts to provide his former wife with a lump-sum alimony payment as well.
When parents divorce, the typical custody arrangement is that a child will live primarily with one parent, while the other parent has visitation rights. In such situations, it may be appropriate for the non-custodial parent to provide a portion of his or her income as child support so he or she can share child care costs equally with the custodial parent.
Whether married, separated or single, parents in Georgia understand that caring for a child often requires much time, patience and money. Child support allows the costs of raising a child to be covered by both parents, not just the parent with whom the child resides most of the time. Parents should remember that these payments are for the benefit of the child and should be used to meet their personal needs.
Parents that are divorced may find it difficult to keep track of all of their rights and obligations concerning the custody and support of their child. A mother who has experienced these issues herself recently created an online application that aims to help solve them.
The determination of child support payments is an important decision in the divorce process of Georgia parents. Support payments allow a child to be supported financially by both of their parents, regardless of the custody arrangement in place or the financial means of the parents.