August is Child Support Awareness Month
This month, the Department of Human Services is “Building Legacies” in observance of Child Support Awareness month. During the month of August, it is DHS’ goal to educate the public about the programs and resources the Division of Child Support Services offers to custodial and noncustodial parents, and to make parents aware of information that can help meet their child support obligations. In doing so, DHS is helping create stronger families for a stronger Georgia.
During the month we will focus on values that infuse our legacy-building programs and initiatives:
- Customer Engagement — DCSS provides viable options through programs that help parents better provide their children’s emotional, physical and financial needs.
- Self Service — Modern resources meet customers where they are.
- Supporting Customer Needs — By listening to our customers, we can assist with their most pressing needs.
- Employer Partnership — The employer community is a vital partner in helping parents meet their financial obligations.
Building Legacies to Ensure Noncustodial Parents Have the Ability to Pay
During the 2018 Legislative Session Senate Bill 427 revised Georgia’s code related to child support payments and updated the state law to comply with federal regulations. The bill requires the court to take a parent’s assets, education level and job skills into consideration when making child support decisions in situations without evidence of income. The goal of the final rule is to increase the number of noncustodial parents who are consistently providing financial support for their children.
All state child support agencies must screen cases and provide the court with information regarding a noncustodial parent’s ability to pay or otherwise comply with the order before establishing a child support obligation, filing civil contempt actions or setting a civil contempt purge payment. The modernizing practices in these areas will encourage parents to comply with child support orders, maintain legitimate employment and minimize the accumulation of unpaid child support debt. These guideline provisions help ensure that child support case outcomes are just and comply with due process and that enforcement proceedings are cost-effective and in the best interest of the child.