Providing information and resources for self-representation

Child Support

There are two options for establishing child support:

1. Department of Child Support Services (especially for out-of-state non custodial parents)
2. Judicial establishment of child support
 
There is also seeking an immediate abandonment warrant (filing criminal charges), which usually results in immediate payment of some support from the non-custodial parent. This is not child support, but rather an option for relief. 
 
 

ADMINISTRATIVE CHILD SUPPORT SERVICES

The civil child support services process can be initiated with an application and fee, which is less than the cost of filing a court case. For more information, please visit:http://dcss.dhs.georgia.gov/. Enforcement tools available through the Department of Child Support Services include:
  • Income deduction of child support from employment wages
  • Drivers license suspension
  • Tax return intercept
  • Bank account levy
  • Denial of passport, and more…

CRIMINAL COMPLAINT

Criminal Non-Support (Abandonment Warrant)

Child abandonment is a misdemeanor offense in Georgia with a penalty of a $1,000 fine or up to 12 months in prison, when a parent has failed to provide sufficient food clothing, or shelter for the needs of the child for 30 days. (O.C.G.A sec. 19-10-1).A warrant is applied for by the custodial parent or caretaker of the minor child through the warrant office in their county. Once the warrant is applied for, a hearing is scheduled. A judge will determine whether or not the abandonment occurred. At the hearing, the accused has the following options:

  1. The parent, who has been accused of abandoning his /her child, can request a probable cause hearing.
  2. The accused parent can choose at the time of the hearing to pay child support. Upon deciding to do so, the parent is immediately paired with a caseworker for DCSS who will assist with the opening a case file.
  3. If the question of parentage arises, the accused father may request a paternity DNA test. He must agree and arrange to pay for the test.

The forms below can be filed in the Gwinnett Superior Court. Alternatively, you can establish, enforce, or modify child support by applying for services through the Georgia Department of Child Support Services. Child Support Services does not process criminal abandonment complaints.

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***Directions for New Child Support Worksheet***

Establishment of Support and Paternity

I do not have a court order for support and want to begin receiving support under a court order. The child(ren)’s father has not acknowledged paternity, or may challenge paternity.

Establishment of Support – no paternity issue

I do not have a court order for support and want to begin receiving support under a court order. Can be filed against a father who has acknowledged/confirmed paternity, or against a biological mother who is not supporting the child(ren).

Contempt 

I already have a court order for support and want to enforce the order.

Modification

I already have a court order for support, but there has been a substantial change of circumstances which affects my needs,  the children’s needs or my ability to meet my support obligation.