It is no secret that divorce can be hard on children. When child support payments are involved, this can contribute to the difficult situation. If the non-custodial parent is behind in child support payments, this can cause an even more contentious relationship between the parents, and that, in turn, can have a negative impact on the non-custodial parent’s relationship with one’s children. Child support enforcement may be necessary, but it does not need to be adversarial.
In Georgia, the state is experimenting with changing how they do things. In lieu of treating a parent who may be behind in payments as a debtor, the state is taking a friendlier approach. Rather than treating parents who are not paid up as debtors, the state child-support workers are treating them like customers and approaching the issue with a customer service mentality of “how can we help”.
Parents are responding in positive ways such as showing up for scheduled meetings, and they report that it is a relief to be treated like a human being. The response rate has also increased. Previously, about 15 percent of people notified of a meeting with child support services showed up at the requested time. Since the friendlier approach has been introduced, the number has increased to 23.2 percent.
While divorce is difficult, maintaining as normal a relationship as possible between both parents and children can ease the situation. A parent who may be having trouble meeting one’s child support obligation in Georgia may benefit from speaking with an experienced family law attorney. A knowledgeable lawyer can advise one on possible options that may be available and help guide a person through the child support enforcement process.