Basic information about child support in Georgia.
Who can get child support?
You can seek a child support order for any and all children you are legally responsible for, who live with you, and who you are actually supporting.1
If you are the child’s mother who is seeking support, and you are unmarried to the child’s father, you will first have to establish a legal relationship between the child and the father, which is called paternity. If you are married, paternity is automatically established once the child is born.
Child support can be filed for as part of a divorce action, a separation action, a custody action, or a paternity action. You can also receive a temporary child support order as part of a protective order for family abuse. See How can a protective order help me? for more information.
1 O.C.G.A. § 19-6-15(a)(20)
How long does child support last?
Generally, a child support obligation will continue until the child reaches the age of 18. However, the court can order that the support continue after the child reaches the age of 18 if the child is a full-time student and not married or emancipated. The order can be extended until the child reaches 20 or graduates, whichever comes first.1
1 O.C.G.A. § 19-6-15(e)
How much child support will I get?
The amount of the child support payments will depend on many factors, such as the number of children, the parents’ income, etc. The judge will use specific Georgia child support guidelines as a guide to figure out the amount. To look at the guidelines, you can go to the Judicial Council of Georgia’s website. However, it is possible that the judge could stray from the guidelines if using them would be unfair or inappropriate in a particular case.1
As part of the child support order, the judge can also order that either parent provide health care coverage if reasonable coverage is available at a reasonable cost.2 A judge can also order that the parents reimburse one another for uninsured medical costs based on their percentage of the support amount.3
For more information on how to get your child support order enforced, visit the Georgia Division of Child Support Services website.
1 O.C.G.A. § 19-6-15(b)(8)
2 O.C.G.A. § 19-6-15(c)(2)(D)
3 O.C.G.A. § 19-6-15(b)(10)