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Georgia Child Support Commission Staffers Address DeKalb Bar Family Section

Georgia Lordby Georgia Lord
Georgia Lord Law

Two very knowledgeable employees of the Georgia Commission on Child Support shared their insights with those attending the April 7 breakfast meeting of the DeKalb Bar Association Family Law Section: Patricia Buonodono, project director and staff attorney to the commission, and Elaine Johnson, who serves as the commission’s executive program manager. These experts offered many helpful suggestions.

Ms. Buonodono and Ms. Johnson detailed the process of securing payroll deductions for child support. Extensive information about this process can be found on the commission’s web site under “Income Deduction in Georgia.”

  • All payroll deductions of child support (or combinations of child support and alimony) must be processed through the Family Support Registry.
  • Payments made directly from one parent to the other, without payroll deduction, need not be made through the Family Support Registry.
  • There must be a separate income deduction order; these provisions cannot simply be included in a child support order.
  • The income deduction order must utilize the format set out in USCR 24.12.
  • The income deduction order must be sent to the Family Support Registry, together with a Family Support Registry registration form and a copy of the underlying child support order.
  • A copy of the income deduction order, a notice to payor, and an income withholding order must be sent to the paying party’s employer. The income withholding order should neither be signed by a judge nor filed with the clerk of court.
  • A copy of the income deduction order and the statement of rights, remedies and duties must be sent to the paying party.
  • All of these forms can be found on the commission’s web site, together with a one page guide to the process.
  • When one paying parent has several income deduction orders in place, the amounts to be paid to each recipient is determined by a distribution matrix established by federal rules.

From left: Judge JP Boulee and Alice Limehouse; Dawn de Klerk and Judge Christopher McFadden

The speakers also provided general advice regarding collection of child support. They noted that attorneys often called with child support questions that were answered in the statute itself. They also praised the work being done by Georgia’s parental accountability courts. These courts provide intensive services designed for chronic non-payers of child support, they noted, and can turn lives around.

Section Chair Kyla Lines led the meeting. Section Vice-chair Alice Limehouse introduced the speakers and moderated their discussion. Judge Christopher McFadden of the Georgia Court of Appeals attended, as did DeKalb Superior Court Judges Seeliger and Boulee.

The section’s sponsor spotlight featured Amanda Morse of Decatur Family Psychiatry. Amanda explained that although she is new to this practice group, she has a decade of experience, as well as advanced training regarding addictions and eating disorders. She enjoys working with adolescents and young adults. The practice is sponsoring a social skills group for 7- to 10-year-olds, an eating disorder support group, and a self-regulation and DBT skills group.

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