Handling Child Support, Custody and Paternity Issues
in Georgia for Over 20 Years
The legal obligation to pay child support often arises amid
turmoil and conflict as part of a divorce or in litigation
for Establishment of Paternity. Because the litigation involves
sensitive financial and child
custody issues, legal proceedings to determine child support
can add to an already stressful situation.
If you are a parent facing a court order to pay child support,
you may have concerns about your ability to pay and maintain
your standard of living. If you are involved
in a divorce and/or a party who is seeking child support,
you may be unable to pay your mortgage or utilities when the
other parent fails to comply with their obligation. Whether
you are the party paying or receiving, these types of disputes
are typically full of conflict and hostility. The attorneys
at McLeod Law Firm, P.C. have been representing parents in
both divorce and paternity actions for over 20 years. Our
lawyers can help you determine your rights and make sure that
you are treated fairly.
Child support is paid by one parent to the other parent to
help provide for the care of their children. A formal court
order can be imposed in the process
of a divorce or as part of a paternity action between
unmarried parents to establish the parentage of the minor
An obligation to pay child support is determined by the custody
arrangement, the income of the parties and other specifically
defined expenses. If the incomes of the parents differ substantially,
a parent may be obligated to pay even if the parent has joint
physical custody. While expenses such as day care, health
insurance and necessary educational expenses are considered,
a the parents other expenses, such as living costs (i.e.
rent, utilities, etc) are not considered by the court.
David McLeod is a family law attorney that understands that
child support can be confusing so we have provided additional
information below, but the best way to learn about
your rights and obligations is to call us at (770) 536-0202.
A paternity proceeding is a legal process to formally establish
a parent-child relationship through a court finding that an
individual is the father of a child. If the parents are married
at the time of the child's birth, then paternity generally
is not an issue. Paternity needs to be established for unmarried
couples to create a right to child support and child
custody or visitation. Establishing paternity is the first
step in a child support case and also to establishing visitation
rights for child born outside of marriage.
Establishing a Child Support Order
Once the court determines parentage, it will establish a child
support order. That is accomplished by applying a statutory
formula based on timeshare of the child, income of the parties
and child related expenses like daycare, health insurance
The obligation to pay child support is taken very seriously.
If you are having difficulty making your payments, it is important
to take immediate action by consulting an experienced Georgia
family law attorney. If you have a legitimate basis for a
modification, such as a significant change in custody arrangements
or loss of your job, arrearages may accrue based on a calculation
that is no longer appropriate. This may mean that you end
up obligated to pay more than you should have owed and failure
to pay can even land you in jail.
The McLeod Law Firm, P.C. provides quality legal representation
for its clients across North Georgia including Gainesville
and Hall County, GA as well as Cumming, Dawsonville, Forsyth
County, Jackson and Dawson County Georgia. We continually
update our law practice to incorporate the most appropriate
communication, technological, and legal advances in an effort
to better serve our clients. We are located in historical
downtown Gainesville, Georgia.
CALL (770) 536-0202 TODAY FOR YOUR INITIAL CASE EVALUATION!