The Facebook page for the Gwinnett County, Georgia, sheriff's department contained a message recently that started out the way so many do coming from law enforcement.
The department shared it was looking for a 40-year-old man who was accused of violating probation.
"We're certain that his children will appreciate any information you can provide to help us find him since they want to eat and keep a roof over their heads," officials said.
In addition to the alleged probation violation, the department said the man in more than $30,000 in arrears in child support.
The post advised the man to turn himself in. "It's never too late to start doing the right thing."
Both fathers and mothers who have a court order to pay child support can fall behind – usually not to that extent, however. Things happen that can lead parents to fall behind.
But what do you do if you're the parent who is supposed to be on the receiving end of payments and they aren't coming?
The Georgia Division of Child Support Services handles child support enforcement in the state. The department can work on your behalf to collect back child support and ensure your child has medical coverage.
How can the state help you get the child support you and your children are due? The state has a number of actions it can take. They include:
- Withhold child support from the paychecks or unemployment pay
- Divert income tax refunds
- Suspend or revoke licenses – occupational, professional or driver's -- when parents are more than 60 days late in paying support.
- Garnish worker's compensation pau
- Add liens or levies to property
You also could file a contempt action. That's done in the court where payment was ordered. If the parent who is in arrears is deemed in contempt of court, he or she could wind up with fines, jail time and the original bill for support.
Georgia is tough on parents who don't pay support, but some parents still manage to slip away without writing that monthly check. A Georgia lawyer who is experienced in family law could discuss your case with you if you aren't sure where to turn next.