A couple who is going through a divorce will find themselves faced with multiple financial questions to answer. Property division, child custody, and asset sharing must be discussed with your attorney, your former spouse, or the court. A person who is ordered to pay child support or spousal support may feel that giving support payments directly to their ex is easiest for everyone. While giving your former partner or spouse money means not relying on a government entity for collection and disbursement, it also means that if problems occur, both parties could have a difficult time resolving issues.
Individuals who have child support payments collected and dispersed by Georgia’s child support enforcement agencies are able to check the status of payments or their case anytime. Both parents are able to use the agency’s website to review court orders, make payments, view payment histories, and set up direct deposit. If either party believes a payment error has occurred getting answers requires little more than opening a web browser, searching for payment information manually, or contacting the customer service agents via email.
When payments are given directly to your ex, both parties will need keep meticulous records of all transactions. In the aftermath of a difficult divorce, two people who are attempting to move forward while learning how to manage as single parents often have a hard time keeping up with even the most vital information. One lost receipt, deleted email, or math error could lead to arguments regarding how much was paid and when the money was received. If you and your former partner cannot come to an understand you run the risk of going back to court.
Once child custody is established, most couples work hard to follow the rules outlined in their court order. Unfortunately, there are some adults who have no intention of upholding the agreement. Even though your former partner may have agreed that purchasing items for your children and assisting directly with other child-related expenses is fine, he or she may later decide that the state should start managing the child support case. When the court gets involved, you may not receive credit for the items you purchased or gave directly to your ex. The court could decide that your previous payments were gifts and not actual child support payments.
Depending on the age of your child, you could find yourself responsible for paying child support for a decade or more. During that time period, you may change jobs, move to another area, or even find yourself unemployed. If your former partner becomes unhappy or inpatient, you may find yourself in family court again being ordered to pay child support. While the court will take your financial circumstances into account, a person who has relocated or is unable to attend the hearing for other reasons may end up losing his or her case by default.
Speaking to a child support attorney prior to agreeing on direct payments will help you decide what option is best for you. The lawyers at Vayman & Teitelbaum are available to discuss your situation and give you the legal advice that you will need to make an informed decision. Contact us today to schedule a consultation in one of our conveniently located Atlanta, Georgia offices.