How Much Back Child Support is a Felony in Georgia

Child support is a court-ordered payment made by a non-custodial parent to support the financial needs of their children. Failure to make these payments can result in serious consequences, including fines, license suspensions, and criminal charges. In Georgia, specific laws regarding the amount of back child support can result in a felony charge. This article will explore those laws and the potential consequences of failing to pay child support in Georgia.

Understanding Child Support Laws in Georgia

In Georgia, child support is calculated based on the income of both parents, the number of children, and other relevant factors. Once a court determines the amount of child support owed, the non-custodial parent must make those payments regularly. Failure to make those payments can result in significant penalties, including fines, license suspensions, and even imprisonment.

When Does Back Child Support Become a Felony in Georgia?

Failure to pay child support in Georgia can result in civil and criminal penalties. If the back child support owed exceeds $10,000 or the payments are over two years overdue, the non-custodial parent can be charged with a felony offense.

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Under Georgia law, the crime of felony child support arrears is a serious offense. The offender can face up to five years in prison and fines of up to $10,000. In addition, the offender can be required to pay restitution to the custodial parent and may face other penalties, such as the suspension of their driver’s license.

Other Consequences of Failing to Pay Child Support in Georgia

Even if the amount of back child support owed is not enough to result in felony charges, there are still significant consequences for failing to pay child support in Georgia. These can include:

  • Wage garnishment: The court can order the non-custodial parent’s employer to withhold a portion of their paycheck to pay for child support.
  • Suspension of licenses: The court can suspend the non-custodial parent’s driver’s license, professional license, or any other license until they make the required payments.
  • Interception of tax refunds: The court can intercept the non-custodial parent’s tax refund to pay for child support.
  • Liens and levies: The court can place liens on the non-custodial parent’s property or levy their bank accounts to pay for child support.

How to Avoid Consequences for Failing to Pay Child Support

If you cannot make your child support payments, it is important to take action immediately. You may be able to work out a payment plan with the custodial parent or petition the court to modify your child support order. It is also important to keep accurate records of your payments and communicate with the court and the custodial parent regarding your situation.

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Conclusion

Failing to pay child support in Georgia can have serious consequences, including felony charges, fines, and license suspensions. It is important to understand your rights and obligations under the law and to take action immediately if you cannot make your child support payments. By working with the court and the custodial parent, you may be able to avoid these consequences and ensure the financial well-being of your children.

FAQs

Can I go to jail for failing to pay child support in Georgia?

Yes, if you owe more than $10,000 or your payments are over two years overdue, you can be charged with a felony offense and face up to five years in prison.

Can I have my driver’s license suspended for failing to pay child support in Georgia?

Yes, the court can suspend your driver’s, professional, or any other license until you make the required child support payments.

Can my tax refund be intercepted to pay for child support in Georgia?

The court can intercept your tax refund to pay for child support.

What should I do if I cannot make my child support payments in Georgia?

If you cannot make your child support payments, it is important to take action immediately. You may be able to work out a payment plan with the custodial parent or petition the court to modify your child support order.

Can I be required to pay restitution to the custodial parent if I fail to pay child support in Georgia?

If you are charged with a felony offense for failing to pay child support, you may be required to pay restitution to the custodial parent.

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