When a noncustodial parent misses paying court-mandated support, the consequences reach far beyond the balance sheet. Yes, life circumstances can sometimes lead to difficulties in meeting payments. But it should not be an excuse not to fulfill an obligation, especially if deliberate refusal to pay can result in far-reaching legal actions.
Legal measures to address nonpayment
In Georgia, the law does not take fulfilling mandated support obligations lightly. There are legal measures in place to address this:
- Arrest and contempt of court: The court views nonpayment of support as a violation of its orders. Consequently, it has the authority to issue a warrant for the arrest of the noncompliant party. This step aims to ensure compliance and uphold the well-being of those entitled to support.
- Wage garnishment: In cases of persistent nonpayment, the court may authorize wage garnishment. This means withholding part of the delinquent party’s income to cover support obligations before it reaches their hands. This direct approach serves to guarantee consistent payments and mitigate the risk of noncompliance.
There are several ways the court can enforce the support order. In addition, a judge may also order a parent to enroll in either the Fatherhood Program or the Parental Accountability Court Program.
These two programs aim to address specific aspects of family dynamics and parental responsibilities.
- Georgia’s fatherhood program actively supports fathers aiming to enhance their role in their children’s lives through workshops, counseling and other resources. It helps fathers gain parenting skills and build strong bonds with their kids.
- The parental accountability court program focuses on addressing nonpayment of child support. It offers counseling, job training and support services to help parents meet their obligations. This program aims to prevent legal actions and promote parental responsibility.
By enrolling in these programs, struggling parents may gain the opportunity to fulfill their financial commitments toward their children’s well-being.
It is important to understand that the consequences of contempt for nonpayment of support encourage accountability and responsibility. But if a parent is having difficulties fulfilling this, there is always an avenue to negotiate the terms of payment. Consulting with an attorney can help.
Remember, it is not just about the money. It is also about the lives affected. Children who rely on these payments for their well-being could face uncertainty.