Some divorced or unmarried fathers in Georgia may not be able to pay the child support they have been assigned. In some cases, the mother may have filed a protective order against the father that prevents him from seeing their children. In other cases, a father might need to establish paternity.
Fathers should try to pay some portion of child support even if they cannot pay the full amount. This may keep the court from imposing the most severe penalties, such as jail time. Fathers might also want to consult an attorney about getting a child support modification. Courts may grant one if the father has lost his job or if there has been another major change in circumstances. While this modification will not reduce any child support debt, future payments may be less.
A father who is facing a protection order and is prevented from seeing his children may want to talk to an attorney about the situation. Fathers who are unmarried may have to go to court to get visitation rights. The standard used by the court in these situations is the best interests of the child.
These cases do not always have to end up in court. Sometimes, parents can negotiate an agreement for child custody and support. However, even if they make an agreement out of court, they might want to submit one that can be made legally binding. With a legal agreement, one parent can get help from the office of child support enforcement in collecting support from the other parent if necessary. If one parent violates the terms of the custody agreement, there may be legal consequences.