How Much Back Child Support Is A Felony In Georgia?

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November 7, 2023 by Marjorie R. Rogers, MA (English), Certified Consultant

Back child support in Georgia becomes a felony when the amount owed is $2,500 or more. Parents who fail to pay child support in Georgia can face serious consequences, including felony charges.

When the outstanding amount reaches $2,500 or more, it is considered a felony offense. This means that the noncustodial parent can be arrested, prosecuted, and potentially face imprisonment if convicted. It is crucial for parents to meet their child support obligations to avoid legal trouble and ensure their children’s well-being.

We will explore the consequences of failing to pay child support in Georgia, the legal process involved, and potential penalties for violators. Stay informed to protect your rights and obligations as a parent.

Back Child Support

Child support is a crucial aspect of ensuring the well-being and proper upbringing of children. In Georgia, as in other states, the obligation to pay child support is taken very seriously. When parents fail to meet their financial responsibilities to support their children, it can result in significant consequences. In this blog post, we will delve into the topic of back child support in Georgia, specifically focusing on the definition, importance, and legal obligations associated with it.

Definition Of Back Child Support

Back child support refers to the unpaid or overdue child support payments that a parent is legally obligated to pay. It accumulates when a parent fails to make timely payments towards the financial support of their child. Often, this can occur when the noncustodial parent neglects their responsibility to contribute to the costs of raising the child. Essentially, back child support represents the amount of money that has accrued over time and remains outstanding.

Importance Of Child Support In Georgia

Child support plays a vital role in Georgia’s legal system by ensuring that children receive the financial support they need for their growth and well-being. It is intended to cover a wide range of expenses, including the child’s basic needs such as food, clothing, and healthcare, as well as education, extracurricular activities, and transportation. Child support also aims to provide consistency and stability in the child’s life by minimizing financial disparities between the custodial and noncustodial parents.

Legal Obligations Of Parents In Paying Child Support

Parents in Georgia have legal obligations when it comes to paying child support. These obligations are enforceable by law, and failure to meet them can lead to serious consequences. Here are some key points to understand:

  • Both parents, whether married or not, have a duty to provide financial support for their child.
  • The amount of child support is determined by considering various factors, such as the income of both parents, the child’s needs, and the custody arrangement.
  • Child support payments are typically made to the custodial parent, who is responsible for the day-to-day care and upbringing of the child.
  • Nonpayment or delayed payment of child support can result in legal actions, such as wage garnishment, suspension of driver’s license, seizure of tax refunds, or even imprisonment in extreme cases.
  • If a parent accumulates a significant amount of back child support, it may be considered a felony offense in Georgia, which can have severe consequences, including imprisonment and a permanent criminal record.

Understanding the definition, importance, and legal obligations associated with back child support is crucial for both custodial and noncustodial parents. By fulfilling their financial responsibilities towards their child, parents can ensure the well-being and stability of their child’s future.

Civil Penalties For Back Child Support In Georgia

When it comes to child support in Georgia, the consequences of falling behind can be severe. Not only can it lead to financial strain, but it can also result in civil penalties and legal actions. Understanding the potential repercussions of unpaid child support is crucial for individuals who find themselves in this difficult situation.

Overview Of Civil Penalties

Georgia takes the issue of child support seriously and has implemented various methods to enforce payment. Civil penalties are a common approach used to hold individuals accountable for their outstanding child support. These penalties aim to encourage compliance and ensure that the child’s financial needs are met.

When it comes to civil penalties for back child support in Georgia, it is important to note that the amount owed plays a significant role. If the arrears surpass a certain threshold, the consequences become more severe.

Consequences For Failing To Pay Child Support

Failing to pay child support in Georgia can result in significant consequences that can negatively impact various aspects of an individual’s life. The severity of these consequences depends on the amount of unpaid child support and the duration of non-payment.

  • Wage Garnishment: One common consequence is wage garnishment, where a portion of the noncustodial parent’s income is withheld to satisfy the child support obligation. This method ensures that the child receives financial support regularly without the custodial parent having to pursue legal action consistently.
  • Driver’s License Suspension: Georgia law allows for the suspension of a noncustodial parent’s driver’s license if they are behind on their child support payments. This serves as a strong incentive to meet their financial obligations, as the inability to drive can significantly impact their daily life and employment opportunities.
  • Seizing Lottery Winnings: In cases where the noncustodial parent wins a lottery prize, the state may intercept the winnings and use them to pay off the outstanding child support. This ensures that the child’s needs are prioritized and that the parent meets their financial responsibilities.

Legal Actions And Enforcement Methods

In addition to civil penalties, Georgia law allows for various legal actions and enforcement methods to collect back child support. These actions are taken to ensure that the child receives the financial support they are entitled to.

  • Contempt of Court: If an individual continually fails to pay child support despite court orders, they may face contempt of court charges. This can result in fines, probation, or even imprisonment. It is essential for noncustodial parents to take their child support obligations seriously and adhere to court orders.
  • Liens and Seizure of Assets: In some cases, the court may place a lien on the noncustodial parent’s property or seize their assets to satisfy the outstanding child support. This method ensures that the child’s financial needs are met by liquidating the delinquent parent’s assets.
  • Passport Denial: For individuals with significant child support arrears, the government has the authority to deny or revoke their passport. This prevents the noncustodial parent from leaving the country until their child support obligations are settled.

It is crucial for individuals facing difficulties in meeting their child support obligations to seek legal counsel and explore available options to avoid potential civil penalties and legal consequences.

Felony Charges For Back Child Support In Georgia

Child support is a legal obligation that parents have to provide financial support to their children. However, when a parent fails to meet their child support obligations, the consequences can be severe. In Georgia, the failure to pay child support can result in felony charges. This article explores the threshold for felony charges, the determining factors for a felony charge, and the penalties and consequences for felony back child support cases in Georgia.

Threshold For Felony Charges

In Georgia, the threshold for felony charges for back child support is clearly defined. According to the state’s laws, if a person owes more than $2,500 in child support payments and is at least 12 months behind, they can face felony charges. This threshold ensures that cases involving substantial amounts of unpaid child support are treated with seriousness.

Determining Factors For A Felony Charge

While meeting the threshold of owing more than $2,500 and being 12 months behind is necessary for felony charges, there are additional factors that can influence the decision to pursue a felony charge. The court takes into consideration the intent of the non-paying parent, their ability to pay, and whether there were any previous attempts to enforce child support payments. This assessment ensures that individuals facing felony charges genuinely failed to meet their support obligations, rather than being unable to pay due to financial hardships.

Penalties And Consequences For Felony Back Child Support Cases In Georgia

When someone is convicted of felony back child support in Georgia, the penalties can be severe. The specific penalties depend on the amount owed and the circumstances of the case, but they can include imprisonment, fines, and probation. In addition to these legal consequences, a felony conviction for back child support can have serious long-term repercussions, such as damage to one’s reputation, difficulties in finding employment, and limitations on obtaining certain licenses or loans.

It’s important to note that Georgia takes child support obligations seriously and actively pursues individuals who fail to meet their responsibilities. If you find yourself in a situation where you are struggling with child support payments, it is crucial to seek legal advice and explore options for modifying the support order rather than risk facing felony charges.

How Much Back Child Support Is A Felony In Georgia?


Frequently Asked Questions Of How Much Back Child Support Is A Felony In Georgia?

How Much Back Child Support Can Be Considered A Felony In Georgia?

The amount of back child support that can be considered a felony in Georgia varies depending on the specific circumstances of the case and the total amount owed.

What Legal Actions Can Be Taken For Back Child Support In Georgia?

When it comes to back child support in Georgia, legal actions can be taken, including wage garnishment, suspension of driver’s license, and even contempt of court charges.

Can You Go To Jail For Not Paying Child Support In Georgia?

Yes, you can go to jail for not paying child support in Georgia. Non-payment of child support is considered contempt of court and can result in imprisonment.

How Does Georgia Define Felony Child Support?

Felony child support in Georgia refers to the situation where a person owes a certain amount of child support, usually above a specific threshold determined by the court, and fails to make payments as ordered.

What Factors Determine Whether Back Child Support Becomes A Felony In Georgia?

The amount of back child support owed, the length of time the payments have been overdue, and past attempts to collect the owed payment are factors that influence whether back child support becomes a felony in Georgia.

Is There A Statute Of Limitations On Back Child Support In Georgia?

In Georgia, there is no statute of limitations on back child support. The owed payments continue until they are paid in full, and the obligation to pay does not expire over time.


The consequences of failing to pay child support in Georgia can be severe. Depending on the amount owed and the length of time it has been unpaid, it could potentially be considered a felony. It is important for parents to meet their financial obligations to their children and seek legal counsel if they are facing difficulties in doing so.

By understanding the implications and taking proactive steps, parents can strive to ensure the well-being of their children and avoid legal repercussions.

About Author (Marjorie R. Rogers)

The inspiring mum of 6 who dedicates her time to supporting others. While battling with her own demons she continues to be the voice for others unable to speak out. Mental illness almost destroyed her, yet here she is fighting back and teaching you all the things she has learned along the way. Get Started To Read …