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Georgia steps up child support enforcement efforts

By law, parents who do not live with their children are obligated to make monthly child support payments to help the other parent cover the child's expenses. Stemming from a divorce or a paternity action, a child support order is enforceable. That means if a non-custodial parent fails to pay in a timely manner, he or she may face serious consequences.

Georgia child support enforcement offices in the Atlanta area are stepping up enforcement efforts. As one state child support worker put it, "failure to pay child support arrears will result in drivers' license suspensions and other nasty business."

According to news sources, non-custodial parents who fail to pay child support may experience:

  • Blocked tax return refund checks
  • Suspension on business or drivers' licenses
  • Failure to obtain passport application approval
  • Revocation of existing passports
  • Suspension or cancellation of automobile tags
  • Garnishments on bank accounts
  • Boot contraptions on automobiles
  • Time behind bars

As of the beginning of this year, thousands of Georgia residents have received child support orders through the mail, process servers and even sheriffs, demanding that absent parents pay their obligations. While it is understandable that these parents should help pay for their children's expenses, some are finding that the increased enforcement efforts are causing extreme stress and grief. Reports indicate that in one instance, a man was put in jail for a year for failing behind on child support payments, even though a DNA test showed that he was not the child's father.

Source: examiner.com, "Atlanta cracks down on child support evaders," Khalidah Tunkara, 9 March 2011

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William C. Gentry, Attorney at Law

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