A Legal Maneuver To Pursue Child Support In Your County
Copyright © 2014 VANJOHNSON LAW FIRM, LLC
In the State of Georgia, if one desires to petition the court for child support, the law requires that the petition be filed in the county in which the Defendant (father) resides. But what if the father lives out of state? For many, this can become a tremendous burden, trying to locate the father’s residence address, trying to have the father served, having to retain an out-of-state attorney to file the action, travel expenses to go to the father’s home state for court hearings, etc., etc.
In fact, often when the mother consults with an attorney in her state, many attorneys will simply refer the mother to child support services for out of state actions. However, I was recently retained by a Georgia resident seeking child support from a New York resident. After considering her circumstances, I initiated a legal maneuver which obtained the results right here in Georgia, in the county in which she resided.
This client was able to provide only a partial address for the alleged father. He resided in a high rise condominium in New York. Access to the building was locked which would have presented another problem for process servers. (In case you didn’t know it, some process servers will make one to three attempts to serve the person, and then they will return the documents reporting that the individual could not be located).
Another problem she faced was the fact that the alleged father traveled out of the country as part of his employment. In fact, he was working in the far east at the time I was retained. And of course, no one wants to bare the expense of paying multiple process servers over several jurisdictions in an attempt to serve the Defendant.
However, my client had two things going in her favor that we could take advantage of: (1) she and the alleged father were never married; and (2) she knew the name of the alleged father’s employer.
In the State of Georgia, if the parents of a minor child were never married (to each other), then the mother automatically has “sole legal and physical custody” of the minor child. However, if the mother desires to obtain a passport for the minor child, the federal government requires either (1) the father’s consent, or (2) a court order granting sole legal custody to the mother. Accordingly, although the mother already has sole legal custody under Georgia law, that fact will not satisfy the feds. Thus, a custody action has to be brought in the Superior Court in order to obtain a court order granting sole legal custody to the mother. Custody actions are filed in the county in which the MOTHER resides.
Thus, in this case, we filed a custody action in the county in which the mother resided. Along with our request for sole legal and physical custody, we added our request for CHILD SUPPORT.
Next, having information re: the alleged father’s employment, we served discovery requests on the alleged father’s employer, requesting employment and financial records on the alleged father.
Of course, once the alleged father became aware of our custody filing, as well as, our discovery requested from his employer, the alleged father retained an attorney. The attorney contacted my office and accepted service of process on behalf of his client. Thus, the issue of having the father served was resolved. And since this was a custody action (which included child support), the action could be heard in the county in which the mother resides.
Hence, not only did my client obtain all of the financial records she needed on the alleged father, she was also able to pursue child support in her county, instead of chasing after the alleged father in New York or outside of the United States.
Attorney Anthony Van Johnson has practiced law for eighteen (18) years and has personally represented thousands of clients in over forty (40) courts throughout the Atlanta metropolitan area/State of Georgia in contested and complex litigation matters. (404) 551-2428, (866) 834-3762. VANJOHNSON LAW FIRM, LLC.http://daily-blogger.com/a-legal-maneuver-to-pursue-child-support-in-your-county/Today's Postchild support,custody,family law,georgia child support,georgia divorce,legal custody