Legal Snacks are short videos from Family Matters Law Group that discuss frequently asked questions from our clients. Watching these videos can help you better prepare for your initial consultation as well as answer questions you may have as work on your case progresses. This month’s legal snack addresses the issue of child support. In particular, the video discusses mentally preparing to pay child support as well as some basic legal concepts every father needs to know.
Here is Mrs. Edidiong Aaron, the founder of Family Matters Law Group:
Mrs. Aaron addressed two key questions in this video. They are:
Many fathers think that paying child support reflects badly on them. They think it gives the perception that they are a deadbeat parent and the court has had to force them to take care of their children.
This is just flat out wrong. By law, both parents share the responsibility for taking care of their child until the child turns 18. As Mrs. Aaron points out, any responsible father would be financially supporting their child regardless of a court order.
So, why do we need a court order if that’s the case? It’s helpful for two reasons. One, it puts a formal agreement in writing so you are legally protected in Georgia. Two, in case your spouse decides to arbitrarily argue for more money, you have a legal document that spells out exactly what you are responsible for. You are protected.
One other item that Mrs. Aaron pointed out was that, in her experience, many fathers end up overpaying their fair share of expenses related to their children. A formal child support order from the court can sometimes result in a lower payment that is more accurate and fair than just guessing what you owe yourself.
There are three things every father should know about child support. One quit worrying about how it looks. When it comes to child support, the rule is “set it and forget it”. Set the amount in court with your attorney’s help, then just forget about it. It’s like a house payment -- you know the amount, just pay it on time.
Second, don’t worry about how your money is being used. Your responsibility is to pay the amount. You do not have to police where the money goes or how it is spent unless there is clear evidence that your child is being neglected. In that case, contact your attorney.
Third, the support amount you pay is all you pay. Once an amount is set by the court, you only pay that much and no more. Extras such as back to school clothes, shoes, and toys are included in the support agreement. You don’t have to entertain requests for more money.
You don’t have to navigate a child support hearing alone. An experienced attorney can help assemble the financial documents you will need as well as answer any questions you have. They can also help negotiate a fair monthly payment.
Supporting your child is always something to be proud of. At Family Matters Law Group, we want to help support responsible fathers by fighting hard for them in court. If you live in Henry, Clayton, or Fayette counties, or reside in the Atlanta metro area, contact us today by calling or using our online contact form.
We’re ready to fight for your children, your assets, and your money.