Jeffrey Johnson is a legal writer with a focus on personal injury. He has worked on personal injury and sovereign immunity litigation in addition to experience in family, estate, and criminal law. He earned a J.D. from the University of Baltimore and has worked in legal offices and non-profits in Maryland, Texas, and North Carolina. He has also earned an MFA in screenwriting from Chapman Univer...

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UPDATED: Apr 10, 2011

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Often following a divorce and child custody determination in Georgia, a noncustodial parent will be assigned an order of support for the financial care of their child through Georgia wage garnishment. Such an order for Georgia child support collection is binding on the noncustodial parent until the termination of the order by the issuing agency. The order is also binding on their employer, who will be served with the order, and who must enforce wage garnishment on the employee and remit payments to the Georgia Family Support Registry. This article briefly details the process of child support collections in Georgia.

Georgia Child Support Collection

An order for support in Georgia can be issued for child support, spousal support, child arrears or debt, or a combination of any of these. A support order must be complied with by both employee and employer until the date on the order, or until the issuing agency notifies the parties involved.

Who Withholds the Money

Generally, after a wage order is assigned to a noncustodial parent, it is served on their employer. This includes an employer of an independent contractor. The employer is bound by Georgia law to enforce the order by garnishing the wages of the noncustodial parent. An administrator of other payments can be served with a support order as well, and is also bound by law to enforce it on the noncustodial parent. An administrator of other payments may include, for example, an administrator of a pension fund or third-party sick pay insurance.

When is Money Withheld

After being served with an order of support, the employer must make the first payment no later than fourteen days after the date listed on the order. The employer should then withhold and send payments to the Georgia Family Support Registry within two days of the employee’s payday. The employer must send in a payment for every payday, and may not accumulate deductions to make one monthly payment. If the order does not give an amount to withhold for each pay period, the employer should multiply the monthly amount by twelve and divide the amount by the total pay periods in a year. If making a payment by check, payments should be sent to:

Family Support Registry (FSR)

P.O. Box 1800

Carrollton, GA 30112-1800

Georgia also accepts electronic funds transfer in either the Cash Concentration and Disbursement (CCD+) format or the Corporate Trade Exchange (CTX) format. The employer may combine payments for two or more employees as long as they itemize the allocation of payments. The employer can also record payment details on a diskette if they wish.

Out-of-State Orders

Georgia abides by the Uniform Interstate Family Support Act (UIFSA), which mandates that an employer honor an out-of-state support order. The employer must follow the out-of state laws when determining where to send the payment, how much to deduct for the payment, and for how long to send payments. By contrast, the employer should follow the laws of the employee’s work state when determining when to begin and remit withholding, how disposable earnings are defined, withholding limits, and how to allocate payments if the employee is subject to more than one support order.