For some noncustodial parents, the idea of paying child support seems arbitrary and, at times, unfair. Although it may not be entirely clear to many people how judges calculate child support costs or agree to a modification of support, one thing is certain: child support is designed with the best interests of the child in mind. Child support is meant to ensure that a child is not negatively affected, at least financially, by his or her parents’ divorce.

This means that when a noncustodial parent in Georgia refuses to pay child support, he or she could be causing serious harm to his or her child. It is not just that the child’s custodial parent is forced to shoulder all of the monetary responsibility, but that he or she is often operating on a very tight budget that the child support is meant to supplement. It may be hard to give a child everything he or she needs on one parent’s income alone.

Although it did not happen in Georgia, the news of the new Powerball winner likely is making headlines in Marietta, in part because the man who won approximately $152 million after taxes also owes $29,000 in back child support. The 44 year old stopped paying child support or failed to pay all of his child support dues in 2009, but it is not entirely clear to which of his five children this child support money is owed.

Normally, the lottery will collect the child support owed before disbursing the lottery winnings, but for some reason it did not do that in this situation. Until the father pays his child support arrears, however, he will be subject to arrest.

As a parent, it is important to financially support a child, whether that is a child of whom you have custody or not.

Source: KSTP 5, “NJ’s Powerball Winner Owes $29K in Child Support,” Cassie Hart, March 28, 2013

If you would like to learn more about the child support laws in Georgia, please visit our website.