How Easy Is it to Modify Child Support in GA?

Unfortunately, modifying child support is not easy, whether in GA or other states. Once a child support order is in effect, it can only be modified if one parent requests the court to change the existing order. What makes modifying a child support order in GA challenging is that the parent seeking a modification must meet very specific requirements to prove that the order must be modified. Also, the modification must be in the best interest of the child involved.

How Do I Modify Child Support in GA?

While you and your co-parent can agree to change the terms of the child support order, a judge must still review and approve the proposed terms for the order to be enforced legally. If you can’t agree to the terms, you must ask the court for a formal hearing where you and your co-parent can present the benefits and drawbacks of the proposed terms.

In general, a judge will not readily change an existing order for child support unless the requesting parent can prove their circumstances have changed significantly. This helps ensure the stability of the current arrangements and prevents courts from being overwhelmed with repetitive and frequent requests for modifications. Depending on the situation, the court can order a temporary or permanent modification.

Temporary Child Support Modification

Common examples of circumstances that warrant temporary child support modifications include:

  • The child has a medical emergency.
  • The recipient parent is experiencing temporary medical or economic challenges.
  • The paying parent is unable to pay the existing support amount due to job loss, a medical emergency, or other qualified temporary financial hardships.

Permanent Child Support Modification

Judges may award permanent child support modifications if one of these factors apply to the case:

  • The child’s needs
  • A disability
  • Job changes for you or your coparent
  • Other changes to income

Permanent child support order modifications will be enforced until the child no longer needs support or the support order is changed again in the future due to changed circumstances.

What If a Parent Suddenly Stops Paying Child Support?

The parent will be held in contempt of court if they suddenly stop paying child support. They can face contempt if they fail to make timely payments or maintain their child’s health insurance. The parent may also be fined and face jail time and other sanctions, including wage garnishment, driver’s, professional, recreational, or occupational license suspension or revocation, and offsetting tax refunds, among others.

If you need to modify a child support order, you must act quickly. Keep in mind that you are legally obligated to pay the current support amount until the court approves your modification request.

Get Legal Guidance From a Seasoned Lilburn Child Support Attorney

Whether you are a paying parent or a recipient parent looking to modify a child support order, the Lilburn child support attorney at Banks, Stubbs & McFarland can help. Please call 770-887-1209 or complete our online form to arrange your free case review with our Lilburn child support attorney.