You’ve just left a family law court in Georgia after becoming a new divorcé(é) and you are ready to start a new life with your children. You have your divorce decree in one hand and the court order that explains how much your ex will be paying in child support each month; unfortunately, collecting child support is rarely easy. You may find yourself receiving late payments, less money than the amount your former spouse owes you or with no payments at all, but there are solutions available to single-parents in Georgia to collect all the child support owed to you.

In 1975, each state was required to establish an Office of Child Support Enforcement to help men and women receive their child support payments. If your former ex is refusing to pay his or her share, the Georgia Office will step in and use a variety of legal methods to collect child support arrears.

One of the simplest ways the state can obtain past due funds is by directing any money your ex would receive in a tax refund to you. The state can also redirect a former spouse’s unemployment or workers’ compensation benefits to you. Another common method is to garnish your ex’s wages. The state can force an ex’s employer to transfer some of the money the ex would normally earn to you, bypassing your ex altogether.

If you are still not receiving all of the child support payments you are owed, the state may take some of your former spouse’s personal property and sell it. Any money earned will go toward outstanding debts. In some situations, the state can also employ punishment, such as revoking driver’s licenses, passports, or professional licenses. In some of the most serious cases, some states will file criminal charges against a non-paying spouse.

Child support payments are extremely important, not only to the custodial parent, but to the children, as well. Unless the non-custodial parent cannot afford the child support payments, he or she has no excuse for failing to pay the full amount of his or her court ordered child support.

Source: Forbes, “How Can a Divorcing Woman Get the Child Support, Alimony She is Owed?” Jeff Landers, Dec. 14, 2011