Child support has long been one of the most stressful aspects of negotiating any divorce or separation that involves minor children. A parent who has already been able to obtain the custody agreement he or she desired is often less than enthusiastic about paying child support. The state of Georgia has implemented a child support calculation system that takes the incomes of both parents into account in an effort to add fairness and transparency to the process. However, there are multiple things that can disrupt child support collection after it is established, making record keeping difficult. Prior to contacting child support enforcement, there are a few things you should check before disputing unpaid back child support amounts.
Employer’s Income Deduction Order
An income deduction order is used by child support enforcement to allow child support payments to be taken directly from your wages. This ensures payments are made without the custodial parent having to wait for the payee to manually initiate a payment. Though the order is meant to make the process more convenient, there are times when there is a problem with either the order itself or an employer’s compliance. Some employers limit the amount of money that can be taken per paycheck meaning that a small amount of the court ordered child support may not be paid each month, creating an overdue balance. Checking your employer’s income deduction order can give you an accurate overview of how your child support is being collected monthly and if the amount is less than what was ordered.
Personal Accounting Errors
After years of paying child support monthly, bi-monthly, or weekly, most people become accustomed to the loss of income and forget some of the details regarding the order’s establishment. Occasionally, there are delays in the enforcement of a child support order or a change in employer, which may cause a payment or two to be missed. Child support enforcement may wait until the end of the collection period (after a child has graduated or turned 18) to take the past due amount, extending the time you pay for support. Before contacting them to report an error, request a copy of your payment history and look for any months or weeks that a payment was missed.
Existing Child Support Order
Not all child support orders are the same and it is always a good idea to review yours before trying to dispute any amounts that you are reported owing. Though most people are used to the idea of child support stopping at the age of 18, in Georgia your support order could require you to continue making payments for as long as your child is in high school. If your child turns 18 during his or her senior year or is held back one year, it is possible that you were still supposed to pay child support but your employer stopped making payments prematurely. In some circumstances, if a child is disabled or impaired, child support can be extended until the child no longer needs your financial support.
Vayman & Teitelbaum
Child support disputes should not be taken lightly. Failure to pay child support can result in license suspensions, bank account seizures, and tax offsets. If you or someone close to you feels that your past due child support amount is incorrect, contact an attorney for help. The aggressive child support attorneys at Vayman & Teitelbaum are able to help you dispute errors while protecting your parental rights. Contact us today at 678-736-7700 to schedule an appointment at one of our four Atlanta, Georgia area locations.