Evans Georgia Legal Blog

How child support is established

Some Georgia parents may have questions about how child support works, especially if they are new to the system. While most noncustodial parents understand they have a responsibility to provide financial support to their children, they may be unsure how support amounts are set or other key determinations are made. Child Support Awareness Month is marked annually in August with the goal of increased public information about how the child support system functions.

In order to put a child support order in place, it is necessary to determine parentage. While maternity can be established by showing that the mother gave birth to the child, paternity can be shown in several different ways. The husband of a married woman who gives birth during the marriage is presumed to be the father. In addition, an unmarried father can sign an affidavit of paternity at the birth or any time thereafter. In some cases, paternity is challenged or in doubt. In these cases, the parents can seek a DNA test in order to prove or disprove paternity. Once the father has been confirmed, an order of paternity can be issued.

How to manage money after a divorce

Losing retirement assets can be the hardest part of a divorce for Georgia residents and others. While they can be divided in a variety of different ways, it can leave a person less financially secure than he or she was before the divorce. Overall, those who have gone through this process have a net worth that is 30 percent less than those who have never ended a marriage.

However, those who are coming out of a divorce should understand that they have time to rebuild their savings. An individual can put up to $18,500 per year in his or her 401k, and that amount increases to $24,500 for those who over 50. Financial professionals say that it is a good idea to contribute the maximum amount if possible to allow for the greatest compound growth. Individuals may also want to contribute additional funds to a taxable investment account for use in emergency situations.

You may pursue various damages following a Georgia accident

A car accident is one of the most frightening events you could experience in life. It can also be infuriating if you learn that the accident was the result of another driver's negligence.

Fortunately, you can take action in this situation by filing a personal injury lawsuit against the allegedly at-fault driver. Here is a look at the many types of damages you can rightfully seek here in Georgia following a car crash that was not your fault.

Hit by a reckless driver?

Car accidents are always frightening, but they can be exponentially more so when you get into one with a reckless driver. When you are injured in a car accident by a reckless driver, they should be held liable for their actions.

In the United States, 94 percent of all car crashes are caused by human error, which includes reckless driving.

Talking to college students about impaired driving

With the end of summer fast approaching, college students are preparing for another year of classes, school activities and social engagements. As the parent of a college student, you may have concerns you’d like to voice to your child as they head back to campus for the fall semester.

College provides a lot of temptation and opportunity to young adults, particularly in the form of drug and alcohol use. Is there a way to talk about these concerns that can be effective and provide an open dialogue?

Failure to pay child support: detrimental to one's well-being

Children are expensive. A person would have a difficult time finding someone in Georgia to disagree with that statement. Parents who are together and working may struggle to provide care, but this task becomes exceptionally more difficult if the parents divorce. During a divorce settlement, the court may mandate a child support agreement that requires the non-custodial parent to pay child support to the custodial parent. While the agreement mandates the payment, that does not guarantee that the payment will be made.

A recent case for non-payment of child support resulted in a sentence that included jail time. The father in the case had failed to pay the mandated amount for 14 years. He was ordered to pay the back amount that was owed as well as court costs and other fees. The amount owed was almost $30,000 dollars. The gentleman was also sentenced to five years in jail.

How is debt responsibility apportioned in a divorce?

Making the decision to divorce in Georgia is never an easy one. Once the decision is made, arriving at a final settlement can be difficult and become contentious. This is particularly true where financial matters are concerned. These matters can add to the complication of a divorce.

One area of concern is who is liable for incurred debts. In most cases, shared debts apply only to obligations that were entered into after the marriage. Debts that precede the marriage would most likely stay with the party that incurred the debt. This would possibly apply to such obligations as student loans or an automobile loan, for example.

What is child support intended to cover?

One of the most contentious parts of a divorce in Georgia frequently concerns child support issues. The noncustodial parent typically pays child support to the custodial parent. Many child support arrangements are part of the divorce settlement and are mandated by the court. However, only about 43.5 percent of custodial parents who are owed child support receive the amount they are owed. And the discrepancies are not limited to parents who are financially challenged.

There have been a couple of high profile cases in the media recently regarding child support by well known noncustodial fathers. Most custodial parents are mothers. Jesse Williams, an actor, stated that he didn't believe he needed to contribute to his child's college fund as he would no longer be paying child support for his child after the age of 18. This reasoning was rejected by the court, and he was ordered to pay 10 percent of his income in child support.

What is best for the child in a child custody case?

Decisions involving the custody children after divorce can can be difficult and emotionally charged. Courts always take into consideration what is best for the child in Georgia, but this may not always be clear. An example of such a difficult child custody case is currently unfolding.

A little girl who is now 3 was placed in foster care when she was only 12 weeks old. She was placed there as a result of a diagnosis of 'failure to thrive.' When the child was 15 months old, she was removed from that foster home to be reunited with her biological siblings in a different foster home. The foster family the child was originally placed with is fighting to regain custody, and the court is struggling to determine what is in the best interest of the child.

Summer vacation plans vs. child custody arrangements

Summer is here and family vacations in Georgia are being eagerly anticipated. While this is true for most families, divorced families with child custody arrangements may face a different reality. In an ideal situation, custody is shared by both parents and they willingly share information such as where and when vacations are planned. Not all situations are ideal.

In some cases, a parent planning a vacation feels it is controlling for the other parent to request information about the details of the trip such as destination, flight information, dates of travel and so on. This may be particularly true where a cooperative atmosphere does not exist between the two parents. In a situation such as this, the need to share information can be viewed as a safety consideration, not a controlling one.