Tag Archives: child support

Financial Planning for the Single Parent

As a single parent it’s even more important than ever to have a short term and long term financial plan.  At About.com they have an article that covers some of the financial planning that you need to think about for you and your child.  The article covers:

  • Creating a Budget
  • Getting Child Support
  • Finding Additional Help
  • Setting up an Emergency Fund
  • Life Insurance
  • Education Funding

While the article doesn’t go into a great amount of detail, if you are just starting to think about financial planning it’s a good place to start.  Many single parents don’t even think about financial planning until they are hit with a crisis; and that’s the worst time to start.

You can read the entire article by clicking on Finances for a Single Parent

Georgia Child Support Information

How do I get child support services for my child in Georgia?

Here’s the basics of what you need to do to start receiving Child Support in Georgia:

  • Open a Child Support Case
    Call the Georgia Child Support Agency (1-877-423-4746) and make an appointment to open a case. You will also need to fill out at application. You can do that online, or request an application be mailed to you when you call for your appointment.  They do charge you a small fee for applying to open a case. *If you are on some types of government assistance, you may not need to fill out an application to open a case. Ask about this when you make your appointment.
  • Locate the Non-Custodial Parent
    If you know where the non-custodial parent lives and/or works this step is simple.  However, if you don’t know where the non-custodial parent is; or if he lives in a different state, it could be difficult to locate them.  Information such as date of birth, social security number will make it easier to locate a non-custodial parent.  Unfortunately there are no guarantees, and you can’t collect child support from an ‘un-findable’ parent.
  • Establish Paternity
    If you and the non-custodial parent were not married when you had your child, you will need to establish that he is the legal father of the child.  If the non-custodial parent is uncooperative, you can petition the court to have his DNA tested to determine paternity.
  • File a Support Order
    In Georgia the child support guidelines take into consideration the income of both parents and the number of children.  They also take into consideration which parent provides health insurance for the child.  The court sometimes orders the non-custodial parent to pay for health insurance for the child if they can get it at a reasonable cost.
  • Set up Payment
    Once the child support order is in place, the amount will be deducted from the non-custodial parent’s paycheck.  This is the easiest way for the non-custodial parent to pay child support.  It’s automatic and there is a record of the payments.  It is almost always a bad idea to make (or receive) child support payments directly between the parents.

 

What can I do if the non-custodial parent stops paying support or providing health insurance for our child?

If you have an Oder in place and the non-custodial parent does not obey the Order, Georgia Child Support Enforcement can assist you in getting your support through the courts. There are things that the court can do to get the non-custodial parent into compliance including fines and/or jail time for non-compliance.  The Judge can enforce the order through a number of ways.  To find out what other steps the courts can take visit Georgia’s Child Support agency directly.

 

Once the Child Support Order is in place, can it be changed?

After a Child Support Order has been set up, either parent can ask the Georgia Child Support Agency to review the Order every three years.  You can ask them to review it sooner if there have been major changes in income or family situation.

 

Links Regarding Georgia Child Support

Single Parents: Do You Have the Life Insurance You Need?

The Importance of Planning Ahead

As a single parent, you are probably used to getting things done by yourself and provide for your family as best as you can. But are you properly covered with life insurance? It’s important for you to make sure you are adequately covered as there are many long term benefits.

According to a recent column by MSNBC business columnist Laura T. Coffey, life insurance is especially important for single parents, particularly if there is no back-up breadwinner for your children to rely on. The good news, she says, is that life insurance has been falling in cost recently, making now a good time to scout out life insurance quotes on term life insurance, permanent life insurance or a mix of both, if you haven’t already.

The amount of insurance you buy should generally equal six to 10 times your annual salary, according to a recent article in MSN Money. Experts quoted in the article estimate that a healthy 45-year-old man or woman can purchase a $500,000 term life insurance policy for $450 to $600 a year.

As you consider purchasing life insurance to protect your children’s future, it’s also important to look at other potential sources of income that can be passed on to your children. This could include retirement plans, other savings and Social Security.

If you pass away before your kids are 19, they are typically eligible to receive your Social Security benefit. Disabled children and elderly parents who depend on you for at least half their income can also receive “survivor benefits.” Questions on how much you can expect to receive on your Social Security benefit can be answered by visiting the Social Security Administration’s website.

Financial planning can be a difficult exercise for most people to wrap their minds around, but for the single parent it’s important to consider. It might be a good idea to visit with a financial planner if you aren’t confident about what type of savings plan you should have in place for your children. But as you have been able to provide for your children on your own in the past, protecting their future is just one more thing you can do as a strong single parent.