Each child in Georgia has an inherent right to be supported, nurtured and cared for by both parents. When the parents are not married, the amount of money needed to support a child is based on many factors, including each parent's income, the needs of the child and the cost of health insurance. One a child support order is filed, it is important that both parents abide by its terms.
Former "Real Housewives of Atlanta" star Sheree Whitfield recently won her child support case against her ex-husband, a former professional football player. The struggle played out in part while Ms. Whitfield was a cast member on the popular Bravo series, as the couple disagreed about how much was owed and the ex-husband refused to make payments on the court-ordered amount.
He admitted in official court documents that he owes her $81,000 in child support due to his failure to make monthly payments. He requested to reduce his child support obligation due to his inability to pay, but the court denied the request. In addition to paying the back child support, he will be able to pay a reduced amount for a period of time before going back up to the full payments.
A child support modification can only occur when certain circumstances exist, such as an increase in the child's needs or a change in the non-custodial parent's ability to pay. Since orders can only be modified under specific conditions, it is necessary for both parents to follow the order or they will risk being in contempt. Child support contempt grants a court the power to enforce its order. Contempt sanctions are not intended to punish either party, but rather to remedy all parties involved.
Child support orders are necessary to ensure that both parents are meeting a child's needs. Therefore, both parents must follow the order unless there are circumstances that would necessitate a modification of the order. It is important for all parties to a child support order to understand their rights and obligations.
Source: S2S Magazine, "Sheree Whitfield wins $75k child support case" Sonya Eskridge, Oct. 22, 2012