American courts take the well-being of children very seriously. In instances of divorce, the courts strive to be fair to both parents, but they almost always put the child’s needs first. This includes which parent is granted custody of the child and how much child support is paid to give the child an acceptable standard of living. Because children depend on this money, the justice system is not very lenient when it comes to failing to make payments.

Sixteen child support offenders were recently arrested in North Carolina. Seven of the offenders had outstanding warrants, and they were taken into custody. All totaled, officers visited around 70 different addresses in their search for the child support offenders.

While this case happened in North Carolina, residents of Georgia should take note of the various consequences that can stem from child support offenses. Missing a payment or two may not seem like a big deal, but it is a crime, and therefore subject to prosecution. Failure to pay child support payment does not go unnoticed, meaning that parents who aren’t receiving child support can inform the authorities, and those who aren’t paying can be brought to justice.

Georgia law used to take a flat percentage of a non-custodial parent’s income and send it toward child support, but as of 2007, the law has changed to take many more factors into account. The income of both parents, health care costs, and even parenting time affect the amount of money that parents pay in child support, and courts do their best to keep the payments fair. Still, those who find themselves genuinely unable to make their child support payments, perhaps due to unexpected loss of job, are not left completely without options. Divorce settlements can be modified to reflect unforeseen circumstances that have arisen since the initial divorce.

Source: Hickoryrecord.com, “Sixteen arrested in child support roundup,” June 27, 2014