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Child support collections up in Georgia

Last month, we reported on what has become somewhat of an epidemic in the United States: the failure of many parents to pay their court-ordered or agreed-upon child support. According to recent data from the U.S. Census Bureau, less than half of all custodial parents receive the full amount of child support owed to them by the noncustodial parents of their children.

However, this does not appear to be the case in one Georgia county. According to Georgia's Child Support Services, $31.5 million in child support was collected in Cobb County in 2010. This was a $3.3 million increase from the amount of child support collected in the county in 2009.

The numbers for the state of Georgia as a whole reflect a similar trend. In 2010, about $675 million in child support was collected in Georgia, which was a $19.3 million increase from 2009.

There are several reasons for the increase, according to Keigh Horton of the state child support services office. He says that former Georgia Governor Sonny Perdue's "Rapid Process Improvement Project" streamlined many of the legal processes surrounding child support. Previously, it could take up to 72 hours for a child support order to be established. Now, it often happens in less than 24 hours, if the custodial parent is prepared with paperwork and other information.

State officials also recently launched a program called GoodTransitions, which aims to help low-income, non-custodial parents train for and find jobs so they have a steady source of income from which to make child support payments.

Hopefully this trend continues in the coming year!

Source: The Marietta Daily Journal, "Child support payments up in Cobb, Ga.," Lindsay Field, Dec. 30, 2011

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