Child Support And License Suspension

by Erica Johnson
(Douglasville, Ga.)

We are in the state of Georgia, and have an issue with child support and license suspension. My boyfriend has two children (boys-ages 3 and 8). He was laid off from his job around 2009 and only was able to keep little odds and end jobs through 2010. In 2010 he was unable to make his child support payments. He wanted to get a modification since he no longer had a job but, they told him he could only apply for a modification a year from the date his payment amount was set. So, they expected him to continue making the $460 a month payment even without a job. So, he got behind in payments.


He was able to go to the child support office and make a few payments here and there (probably a total of $900 this year). He finally got another job a couple of months ago so he let the child support office know so they could start taking the payment out of the check. They are taking a total of $792 out a month (this includes $292 a month in arrears…he owes about $4,000 in back child support from not making payments due to no job in 2010).

He has since filled out the appropriate paper work to have a modification done since he only makes $10 an hour.

When he got behind on payments in 2010 they suspended his license. This is the dumbest rule I have ever heard of because it keeps the person from getting to work or finding work which ultimately keeps them from making support payments which hurts the children.

Initially, before he got a job and started making regular payments his case worker told him if he could come in and make a $1,000 lump sum payment they could release his license. But, he does not have that kind of money. Since he is now making regular payments is there any other way he can get his license back? I have seen so many different pieces of information on-line about this I am not sure what to believe.

Some sites say he can have more leverage now that he is making payments and that could be looked at as a “payment arrangement” and the license could be released by asking the caseworker again. I have also seen that if he has a letter from his boss saying he could make more if he had his license (which he has one) could help.

I also saw that the custodial parent could waive or forgive the arrears but, she may have to close the case to do that and then reopen a new one to continue getting the regular payments. Is this true? I have heard that if a parent closes a case but then reopens it, the child support will still go back to the original arrears which defeats the purpose.

Also, I saw that ONLY a judge can order for arrears to be removed from your case. Just because an ex signed a paper to waive does not mean that it was signed by a judge and legally taken off so he would need to get a hearing for the judge to acknowledge the custodial parents wishes to have the arrears removed.

Lastly, I heard he could request an administrative hearing on his license suspension if he cannot pay all the arrears or work out an agreement with the caseworker. He can submit his request in writing to the appropriate Georgia Child Support Office.

Then he should receive a hearing notice from the Georgia Office of State Administration Hearings (OSHA). He can attend the hearing and bring any documents that support his case, such as proof of hardship or proof of support payment.

It is so hard to know what rights the non-custodial parent has surrounding this subject. I am just looking for some direction on how he can get the license back and what the law in Georgia is surrounding this so that when he talks to his caseworker she is not just telling him things that are not true or right.

Thanks!

Comments for Child Support And License Suspension

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Child Support Questions V.I.P. Member
by: CSA Staff

Hello Erica!

Thank you for your questions and sharing your story. First thing is first, he definitely needs to work on getting his license out of suspension status. The caseworker has the power to do this. He should call her and inform her of his new job AND that the payments and arrears are being garnished. This makes a huge difference when they know the payments are being garnished. Usually in most cases, they either require a lump sum payment or proof that you hold a current job and that the support payments are being garnished. Also ask about an appeal through the child support office if the caseworker is really not cooperating with you.

His ex can waive the arrears, it does go before a judge BUT you do not have to close the case in order to do this. This may be an option for the back support. However once the drivers license is suspended unfortunately you have to go through some "red tape" to get it fixed.

If you cannot work anything out with your caseworker then call your county clerk of courts and ask about what you will need to do about what you stated below:

"Lastly, I heard he could request an administrative hearing on his license suspension if he cannot pay all the arrears or work out an agreement with the caseworker. He can submit his request in writing to the appropriate Georgia Child Support Office.

Then he should receive a hearing notice from the Georgia Office of State Administration Hearings (OSHA). He can attend the hearing and bring any documents that support his case, such as proof of hardship or proof of support payment. "

There is quite a bit of information about child support. The laws do vary from state to state so keep this mind when you are seeking other info. We wish you well and keep us informed.

Thanks
CSA STAFF

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