All parents have a responsibility to provide for their children. Due to certain circumstances, providing for their child is something that is court-ordered for some.
When ordered to pay child support, it is imperative that the responsible party pay it because their child depends on this money for food, clothes and other things necessary for survival. While many parents have no problem providing for their child financially, others may be under the impression that paying child support is optional. Regardless of whether or not parents want to make payments, the law has required them to, so when they choose to not pay there are consequences they will have to face.
How Do the Courts Enforce Child Support Orders?
Child support is court ordered, so parents are required to pay it. Once it is determined which parent will pay child support and how much they will pay every week, the courts can use a variety of methods to ensure the child receives these timely payments. For example, it is possible that the courts will decide to withhold the required amount of child support from the non-custodial parent’s wages and/or intercept both the state and federal tax returns. Many parents will find that they have no option other than to have child support deducted from their paychecks, as this is something that courts tend to order immediately after the order is in place.
What Can Happen When the Non-Custodial Parent Chooses to Not Pay Child Support?
Non-custodial parents who choose to not pay child support will have to face consequences for nonpayment. Even if they think this is something they will get away with, it is not. When they fail to make timely payments, they could be found in contempt. At that point, legal action will be taken, with the consequences possibly being harsh. In some cases, parents will be sent to jail or have to pay a fine. In addition, the courts could make it a point to notify credit bureaus of late payments, suspend or revoke their driver’s license, or even seize bank accounts to ensure the regular payments are made.
Parents may find a number of reasons or excuses as to why they should not pay child support. Some may feel as though the payments are too high, or even that the custodial parent is not using the money in the way they should be, but neither of these reasons to not support their child financially. These specific issues are ones that can be taken up with the court, so the solution should not be to avoid making payments.
Not all parents want to acknowledge the importance of child support. Not only can it be used to provide the child with life’s necessities, it can ensure the child is happy, healthy and well taken of by the custodial parent. Any parent in Columbus, GA who is experiencing difficulty in getting the non-custodial parent to make child support payments can contact an attorney at Moffitt Law, LLC for assistance.
How Can Fathers Establish Paternity of Their Child?
Fathers in the state of Georgia and all over the United States face a variety of issues when it comes to their children. Mothers are often seen as the true caregivers, providers, and protectors, so it is rare for them to be challenged or questioned in the way that fathers are when they want to exercise their parental rights and seek child custody. All children have both a mother and a father, but there are some instances where fathers have to go the extra step to prove paternity before they have access to any other parental rights.
How Is Paternity Established?
There is more than one way for a man to establish paternity. For a married couple, when a child is born, it is assumed that the male is the father. However, things work a bit differently when the couple is unwed. Both parents can sign what is called a Voluntary Paternity Acknowledgement after the child is born. What this form does is name the mother and the father, but also establishes rights for the child.
Upon signing this document, parents are stating that they will provide for the child financially, share an emotional bond with the child, and more. It is important for parents to make note of the fact that even someone who is not the father of the child can sign the Voluntary Paternity Acknowledgement. At the time of signing, if someone believes they are the father of the child, but later starts to question this, they have 60 days to cancel this Paternity Acknowledgement form.
Should they miss the 60-day deadline, they will have to challenge paternity in court. However, they will still be held responsible for any parental obligations until the case has concluded and it is determined that he isn’t the actual father.
What Happens If a Father Denies Paternity?
Some men aren’t always convinced that they are the father when a woman informs him that she is expecting or has had a child. When this happens, the mother has options if she wants to prove parentage and ensure the child receives financial support and health insurance coverage. At this point, she can take legal action, which is when the courts will require the alleged father to take a paternity test that will prove if he is, in fact, the father. Following the paternity test, if the man is the father, he will have to care for the child financially, but will also ideally assume the many other responsibilities of a father.
No parent should see their presence in their child’s life as optional because children need to be cared for by both parents. Regardless of the relationship between the mother and the father, both parents should be there to give their child the emotional, mental and financial support they need. If that requires the father to establish paternity beforehand, then it must be done. Those in Carrollton, GA who are in need of assistance with their paternity case can contact a family law attorney from Moffitt Law, LLC.
Tyler Moffitt is a Family Law and Criminal Defense Attorney who practices Carrollton, LaGrange, and Columbus, GA. He graduated from John Marshall Law School, and has been practicing for several years now. Tyler Moffitt takes great honor in defending the accused. Learn more about his experience by clicking here.