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Georgia State Law

A. General/Program-At-A-Glance

A1. How many local IV-D offices are in your state (excluding agencies with cooperative agreements)?
59 local child support offices and 9 County offices administered by the county District Attorney.
A2. Does your state have statutes that define the attorney-client relationship between the state's attorney and the agency only?
No
A2.1. If yes, what is the statutory citation?
N/A
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A2.2. Did your state have the state's bar counsel issue an opinion setting the attorney-client relationship?
No.
A2.3. If yes, please explain.
N/A

B. UIFSA

B1. What is the statutory citation for your state's UIFSA?
O.C.G.A. 19-11-100 through 19-11-191
For Additional Information - No Link Provided
B2. How many copies or sets of documents does your state need for an intergovernmental case referral?
For information regarding Georgia's Intergovernmental Forms Requirements, please visit the "For Intergovernmental Agencies" under the General Information section of the GA DCSS website: http://dcss.dhs.georgia.gov/georgia-uifsa-requirements.

C. Reciprocity

C1. With which foreign countries does your state have a state level reciprocal agreement for child support enforcement? (Do not include federal foreign reciprocating countries in your answer.)
The Federal OCSE website shows the updated listing of countries with which the United States has reciprocating agreements: http://www.acf.hhs.gov/programs/css/resource/foreign-reciprocating-countries. Georgia also has agreements with Germany and Mexico.
C1.1. Does your state exercise its option to receive Federal Funding Participation (FFP) for enforcement of spousal-only orders for foreign reciprocating countries?
No
C1.2. If yes, please explain.
N/A
C2. Has your state established reciprocity with any Native American tribal courts?
No
C2.1. If yes, list the tribes and identify services provided, if less than full services.
N/A
C3. Does your state accept direct applications from parents in non-reciprocating or non-treaty countries? **
Yes
C4. When a Hague Convention country seeks registration of a Convention support order in your state, does your state allow the country to send an abstract (or summary) of the order on the Hague Abstract of a Decision form in lieu of the complete text? (See UIFSA 706 (b) (1).) **
Yes, Georgia allows an abstract (or summary) of the Convention support order to be sent on the Hague form for registration for registration purposes. The Official Code of Georgia Annotated O.C.G.A 19-11-141.1(b)(1) states that the request for the registration of a convention support order must be accompanied by: (1) A complete text of the support order or an abstract or extract of the support order drawn up by the issuing foreign tribunal, which may be in the form recommended by the Hague Conference on Private International Law.

D. Age of Majority

D1. What is the age of majority in your state?
Age 18: Support order entered after 7/1/92 may provide for the extension of child support to age 20, if the child is still in high school.
D2. What is the statutory citation for the age of majority?
O.C.G.A. 39-1-1
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D3. If not addressed in the order, at what age is child support automatically terminated as a matter of state law? Qualify, if necessary.
Age 18 unless specified otherwise.
D4. Does the date of the order determine the law that is applied?
Yes
D4.1. If yes, please explain.
Refer to D1
D5. Does child support end if the child leaves the household, but does not emancipate?
No
D5.1. Optional comments regarding emancipation.
The answer to D5 generally relates to a child who marries, enters the military and other similar actions. The court makes this determination for issues other than those mentioned.
D6. Does your state allow support to be paid beyond the age of majority under any circumstances (for example, the child is handicapped or in college)?
Yes
D6.1. If yes, please explain.
If specified in an order. Orders issued by OCSS state that support may continue to age 20 if the child is enrolled in secondary school (high school). Other examples in private orders might include extraordinary medical needs, handicapped, etc.
D7. Does your state automatically reduce current support owed for remaining children after one of the children in an order reaches the age of majority or otherwise emancipates?
No
D7.1. If yes, please describe the procedure.
Some GA OCSS orders have language that reduces support as each child emancipates, but only those orders issued after 2005.
D8. Does your state accept a application from a party after all of the children on the case have emancipated?
GA DCSS does not generally accept applications for cases in which the child(ren) have emancipated and current support is no longer due. Continued services will be provided on existing, active cases in which there are no minor or dependent children (i.e. when a child emancipates) will continue being enforced until such time as the case is paid in full, or qualifies for federal case closure. Under limited circumstances, applications may be processed where no minor child(ren) is involved on cases with a Georgia IV-D order.
D8.1 If not, how does this affect interstate referrals?
If GA DCSS receives an intergovernmental request for enforcement of a NTANF arrears-only case, we will accept and work the case.

E. Statute of Limitations

E1. What is your State's statute of limitations for collection of past-due support?
None for child support or spousal support pursuant to O.C.G.A. 9-12-60(d) for orders issued on or after July 1, 1997.
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E2. What is your State's statute of limitations for paternity establishment?
Paternity must be established before the child's 18th birthday.
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E3. Is dormancy revival/renewal possible?
Yes
E3.1. If yes, please explain the circumstances when it's possible and how long it's possible.
A judgment becomes dormant after 7 years in GA - and can be "revived" for 3 more years.
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F. Support Details

F1. What guideline type or method does your state use to calculate child support (for example, Shared Income Model, Percentage of Income Model, Melson Formula)?
Guidelines effective January 1, 2007 follow a shared income model under Georgia code section O.C.G.A. 19-6-15. Orders prior to that date were based on a percent of the non-custodial parent's gross income.
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F2. Does your state charge interest on arrears?
Yes
F2.1. If yes, please indicate the amount of interest charged and any related conditions.
Prior to 12/31/2006, Georgia orders accrued interest at the rate of 12 percent per year. The interest rate was lowered to 7 percent per year effective January 1, 2007. This change is not retroactive. GA OCSS will enforce interest on a foreign order that is registered in GA, however for orders issued in GA, OCSS only enforces interest on orders established by OCSS.
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F3. Does your state charge interest on retroactive support?
No
F3.1. If yes, please indicate the amount of interest charged and any related conditions.
N/A
F4. Does your state charge interest on adjudicated arrears?
Yes
F4.1. If yes, please indicate the amount of interest charged and any related conditions.
12% per year through December 31, 2006. 7% per year effective January 1, 2007. The lower interest rate change was not retroactive.
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F5. Will your state enforce a medical debt for 50 percent of the uninsured portion?
No
F5.1. If yes, under what circumstances?
We will not attempt to enforce a medical support debt unless previously reduced to a dollar amount in a judgment.
F6. Does your state elect to recover costs or charge fees in your IV-D state plan?
Yes
F6.1. If yes, what costs are recovered from or fees charged to the obligee?
Review and Modification Fee: Effective July 1, 2007, Georgia OCSS policy requires a $100.00 "non-refundable" Modification Review application fee. This fee applies to in-state and interstate cases, unless exempt. The requesting party and/or state will be notified if the Modification fee is required. Annual Maintenance Fee: Effective October 1, 2007 an annual maintenance $25.00 fee is collected for each never TANF case where the State has collected at least $500.00 of child support. Paternity Testing Fee: Per state law and effective July 1, 2015, the obligee is responsible for the paternity test fees if the obligor is excluded via testing.
F6.2. If yes, what costs are recovered from or fees charged to the obligor?
Georgia deducts a $15.00 administrative processing fee against the federal tax intercept collection received by the state. Paternity Testing Fee: Per state law and effective July 1, 2015, the obligor is responsible for the paternity test fees if the obligor is included via testing.
F7. Does your state recover costs on behalf of the initiating state?
No
F7.1. Optional comments regarding recovery of initiating state's fees.
If the interstate request asks for fees, the parent may be notified when the initiating state asks for them to be collected. That way if the other state's arrears balance differs, it may be the cause and the parent will be advised of such.
F8. What is the statutory citation for your state's long-arm statute to establish or enforce child support?
O.C.G.A. 19-7-41 and 19-11-110
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F9. Does your state establish, enforce, or modify spousal maintenance orders?
Yes
F9.1. If yes, under what circumstances?
We enforce spousal support only when the custodian's child is simultaneously receiving child support services. When the child emancipates, we no longer enforce spousal support.
F10. Does your state require the initiating state to include information about the new spouse or partner upon a request for establishment or modification? (See General Testimony, AT-11-07)
No
F10.1. Optional comments regarding required information on spouse or partner.
This may vary from one circuit to the next. If required, a request will be sent to the other state initiating the UIFSA action.
F11. How does your state impose and collect the mandatory annual fee applicable to IV-D cases for people who never received IV-A assistance?
O.C.G.A 19-11-6 (f) The department shall retain such fee and deduct such fee from child support collections before disbursement to the obligee. (g) Income withholding as well as by any other enforcement remedy available to the IV-D agency responsible for child support enforcement.
F11.1. Does your state collect the fee by retaining the support collected on behalf of the person but not the first $500?
Yes.
F11.2 Does your state collect the fee from the person applying for IV-D services?
Yes. O.C.G.A 19-11-6 (f) $12 to be paid at the rate of $1.00 per month after the IV-D agency has collected $500 of child support annually for each case.
F11.3. Does your state collect the fee from the absent parent?
Yes. O.C.G.A 19-11-6 (g) $13 to be paid in 12 monthly installments after the IV-D agency has collected $500 for child support annually for each case.
F11.4. Does your state pay the fee out of its own funds?
No
F12. When did your state implement the required Deficit Reduction Act (DRA) limited-assignment provision?
The State implemented the assignment requirement pursuant to section 408(1)(3) of the Act, as amended by the DRA of 2005 on October 1, 2009.
F13. Will your state pass through (and disregard for TANF eligibility purposes) the excepted portion to families in current assistance cases?
The State will not participate in the pass-through provision for Current Assistance cases under section 457(a)(7)(B) of the ACT, as amended by DRA.
F14. Does your state participate in the pass-through in former assistance cases?
The State will not participate in the pass-through provisions for Former Assistance cases under section 457(a)(7)(A) of the Act, as amended by the DRA.
F14.1. If yes, provide the date.
N/A
F15. Will your state discontinue eligible assignments under the DRA of 2005?
No
F15.1. If yes, list the eligible assignments your state would discontinue.
N/A
F15.2. When will your state discontinue each type of assignment?
N/A
F16. Does your state follow PRWORA or DRA distribution ordering rules in former assistance cases?
The State continues to distribute all collections according to PRWORA distribution, i.e. former section 457 (a)(2)(B) of the Act as in effect prior to 10/1/09.
F17. What are your state's requirements to redirect payments from the court-order payee when a child on the order is receiving TANF with a different payee?
For information regarding Georgia's Intergovernmental Forms Requirements, please visit the "For Intergovernmental Agencies" under the General Information section of the GA DCSS website: http://dcss.dhs.georgia.gov/georgia-uifsa-requirements.
For Additional Information - No Link Provided
F17.1. What are your state's requirements to redirect payments from the court-order payee when a child on the order is receiving Medicaid only with a different payee?
For information regarding Georgia's Intergovernmental Forms Requirements, please visit the "For Intergovernmental Agencies" under the General Information section of the GA DCSS website: http://dcss.dhs.georgia.gov/georgia-uifsa-requirements.
For Additional Information - No Link Provided
F17.2. What are your state's requirements to redirect payments from the court-order payee when a child on the order is with a different payee and not receiving TANF or Medicaid only?
For information regarding Georgia's Intergovernmental Forms Requirements, please visit the "For Intergovernmental Agencies" under the General Information section of the GA DCSS website: http://dcss.dhs.georgia.gov/georgia-uifsa-requirements.
For Additional Information - No Link Provided
F17.3. How does your state collect the $25.00 annual fee on never-TANF cases?
O.C.G.A 19-11-6 (f) $12 to be paid at the rate of $1.00 per month after the IV-D agency has collected $500 of child support annually for each case. (g) $13 to be paid in 12 monthly installments after the IV-D agency has collected $500 for child support annually for each case.
F18. Will your state recover costs from a U.S. resident non-custodial parent in foreign reciprocating or treaty cases? **
Yes
F18.1 If yes, describe all costs arising in practice (for example, court costs or legal fees). **
OCGA 19-11-132 states a responding tribunal of Georgia may assess against an obligor filing fees, reasonable attorney's fees, other costs, and necessary travel and other reasonable expenses incurred by the obligee and the obligee's witnesses.
F19. Does your state send CSENet transactions to request interest information?(MSC R GRINT)
No
F20. Does your state send CSENet transactions to provide another state with interest and arrears information? (MSC P GSTAI)
No

G. Income Withholding

G1. What specific source of income is not subject to withholding?
TANF, SSI, VA Disability
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G2. Does your state have any limits on income withholding in addition to the Consumer Credit Protection Act (CCPA) limits?
No
G2.1. If yes, what are those limits?
N/A
G3. What is the allowable fee per pay period employers may charge for processing income withholding payments?
One time set-up of $25; $3 for each subsequent deduction.
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G4. After receiving an income withholding order or notice, what is the date by which the employer is required to implement income withholding?
No later than the 1st pay period that occurs after 14 days following the date the Notice was mailed.
G5. What is the date by which an employer must remit amounts withheld from an employee's pay?
Within 2 working days of each payment date.
G6. What are your state's procedures for sanctioning employers for not implementing income withholding?
Georgia law provides that if the employer willfully fails to deduct, they are liable for the amount that they should have deducted plus any court costs, interest, and attorney fees.
G7. What is the penalty to an employer for failure to remit payments withheld?
No penalty imposed by the IV-D agency. The court may impose costs, interest and reasonable attorney's fees. For additional information, refer to Georgia Law, O.C.G.A. 19-6-33.
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G8. Does your state allow direct income withholding of unemployment insurance (UI) benefits across state lines?
Yes
G8.1. Explain your process for receiving direct withholding orders across state lines.
If the NCP lives in GA, income withholding of UI benefits can be requested through an interstate action under UIFSA by submitting a full petition packet for a two-state case to the Georgia Central Registry. Also, requests can be sent direct to GA Dept of Labor for a fee. Bypassing a two-state case will require a $52 processing fee to be paid to: Georgia Department of Labor, 148 Andrew Young International Blvd N.E., Suite 900, Atlanta GA 30303-1757.
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G8.2. What documents are required to intercept UI benefits?
Income withholding of UI benefits can be requested through an interstate action under UIFSA by submitting a full petition packet for a two-state case to the Georgia Central Registry. See G8.1 for instructions to bypass a two-state case.
G9. Does your state allow direct income withholding of workers' compensation (WC) benefits across state lines?
Yes
G9.1. Optional comments regarding direct withholding of WC benefits across state lines.
Income Withholding for "periodic payments." Lump sum payments are subject to the lien and levy process.
G10. How does an obligor contest income withholding in your state?
Obligor may request an administrative or judicial hearing at any time. Such requests do not halt enforcement actions.
G11. When the obligor has more than one claim for child support against his or her income, what is your state's priority scheme for income-withholding orders? For example, the employer should allocate the available amount for withholding equally among all orders or prorate available amount across orders.
Employers should deduct payments for all orders prorating total deduction amounts across all orders up to the federal Consumer Credit Protection Act limits.
G11.1. If an employer in your state receives more than one income withholding order for child support from other states, can the employer request your assistance?
Yes
G11.2. If assistance is not available, explain how employers should proceed. Provide a citation for the state law that governs how they should proceed.
The state office Legal Services Officer or state office Policy Specialists can provide assistance. Advice provided by Policy Specialists should not be considered legal advice, only guidance. O.C.G.A 19-6-32.
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G12. Does your state require any mandatory deductions, such as union dues or medical insurance premiums, to arrive at net pay from gross pay when calculating disposable income for child support purposes?
No.
G13. When does your state require the employer to send notice of an employee's termination?
Upon separation from employment.
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G14. How long should an employer retain the income withholding orders (IWO) after terminating an employee, in anticipation of reinstating the withholding should the employee be rehired?
There is no time limit under Georgia law.
G15. Does your state charge any fees to the obligor that the employer must withhold and remit to the state?
Yes, there is a charge of 5% per total deduction or $1.50, whichever is less per pay period.
G16. Does your state offer an alternate web-based payment mechanism in addition to paper and EFT/EDI?
Yes. We offer credit card payments via the portal plus our Family Support Registry through SMI has e-commerce on their website.
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G17. Can another state send a direct income withholding order to any of the following in your state: employer, financial institution (explain which institutions), bureau of workers' compensation, or other income payer?
Employers and Worker's Compensation Board only. Please provide the active GA OCSS Case Number when sending direct income withholding to Central Registry.
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G18. If there is insufficient income for an employer to withhold for both the total amount of child support and medical support, describe your state's prioritization between child support and medical support.
Current child support is paid first, then medical support up to the federal CCPA limits.
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G19. If your state has more than one state or jurisdiction requesting to collect support for the same obligor/obligee combination under the same court order for the same children, (for example where current support goes to the CP and other states have claims for past periods based on payment of TANF), what is your state's procedure for distributing payments among these arrears claims?
According to our distribution matrix, current support is paid first. Once the current support ordered amount is satisfied for the month, then the remaining balance of the payment or subsequent payments received during the same month are prorated and applied to the arrears owed on the case. Proration is based on the arrears support ordered amount and then the arrears balances.
G20. If your practice for distribution of payments between cases is directed by state law or rule, what is the citation?
Distribution follows federal law and regulations, and is also addressed in Ga. Comp. Rules & Regulations. r. 290-7-1-.15(a).
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G21. Does your state's law require a signature on the income withholding order?
No

H. Paternity

H1. When your state enters an order establishing paternity, do you also address issues of custody and visitation?
No
H1.1. If yes, please explain.
N/A
H2. What is the percentage of probability for genetic testing that creates a rebuttable or conclusive presumption of paternity?
97% or higher.
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H3. Optional comments regarding legislation that makes paternity acknowledgments conclusive.
Pursuant to O.C.G.A. 19-7-46.1 when both the mother and father have signed a voluntary acknowledgment of paternity and the acknowledgment is recorded in the putative father registry established by subsection (d) of Code Section 19-11-9, the acknowledgment shall constitute a legal determination of paternity, subject to the right of any signatory to rescind the acknowledgment prior to the date of the support order, any other order adjudicating paternity, or 60 days from the signing of the agreement, whichever is earlier. Recording such information in the putative father registry shall constitute a legal determination of paternity for purposes of establishing a future order for support, visitation privileges, and other matters under Code Section 19-7-51. After the 60 day rescission period specified in subsection (b) of this Code section, the signed voluntary acknowledgment of paternity may be challenged in court only on the basis of fraud, duress, or material mistake of fact, with the burden of proof on the person challenging the acknowledgment. The legal responsibilities of any signatory, including child support obligations, arising from the acknowledgment may not be suspended during the challenge, except for good cause shown.
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H4. What is the effective date of the state law that makes paternity acknowledgments conclusive?
01/01/1997
H4.1. Were acknowledgments prior to that effective date rebuttable?
No
H4.2. Optional comments regarding paternity acknowledgments prior to that date.
N/A
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H5. Does marriage constitute a rebuttable presumption of paternity?
Yes
H5.1. If yes, how is the presumption rebutted?
By clear and convincing contrary evidence provided by the husband.
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H6. If the father's name is on the birth certificate and paternity has not been established by any other means, does this mean conclusive determination of paternity?
No
H6.1. If no, briefly explain.
As of July 1, 1997, the father's name cannot be entered on the birth certificate unless both mother and father sign a Voluntary Acknowledgement of Paternity or if the biological parents were married when the child was born. When the signed acknowledgement is registered in the Putative Father Registry it constitutes a legal determination of paternity, with a right to rescind. It should be noted that this may be challenged in a subsequent legal proceeding on the basis of fraud, duress, or material mistake of fact. Also, the father's name can be entered on the child's birth certificate if the biological parents later marry each other.
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H7. What is the effective date of the state law that makes a father's name on the birth certificate a conclusive determination of paternity?
N/A
H8. Does your state have any other paternity-related presumptions?
Yes
H8.1. If yes, briefly explain.
A presumption exists if the putative father signed the Voluntary Acknowledgment of Paternity and his name is on the birth certificate. When the mother is married, the husband is presumed to be the father.
H9. Does your state have a putative fathers' registry?
Yes
H9.1. If yes, what is the name of that entity?
The Georgia Department of Public Health, Office of Vital Records.
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H10. Are there any fees for requesting searches, paternity documents and data from your state's bureau of vital statistics?
Yes
H10.1. If yes, please describe any circumstances under which these fees may be waived.
Vital Records charges $25.00 for birth certificates and each additional copy of the same document is $5. A copy of a Voluntary Acknowledgment of Paternity is $10.00. The only waiver is for GA DCSS attorneys when the document is needed for a court hearing.
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H11. Is common-law marriage recognized in your state?
No
H11.1. If yes, briefly describe the standard that defines common-law marriage.
Common Law marriage has not been recognized since January 1997.
H11.2. When did your current common-law standard go into effect?
01/01/1997
H11.3. If there was a common-law standard in effect prior to your current standard, what was that standard and when did it go into effect?
1. Parties were able to contract marriage; 2. There was an actual contract; 3. Must have been consummated according to law. Codified in 1983
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H12. When the custodial party and/or other witnesses are not able to appear in person for paternity hearings, what methods of testimony are acceptable; for example, written, videotape, and teleconferencing?
Paternity testimony or UIFSA General Testimony or written, sworn, and notarized testimony.
H13. Give the statutory citation for your state's long-arm statute and list any special provisions.
O.C.G.A. 19-7-41 and 19-11-110
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H14. Does your state recover genetic testing costs for another state?
No
H14.1. If yes, please explain.
The Intergovernmental Final Rule (effective 1/3/2011) states that the responding state is responsible for the coordination of genetic testing and the recovery of any costs associated with genetic testing.
H15. List any documents required to get the father's name on the birth certificate. For example, is an acknowledgment of paternity needed?
Paternity Acknowledgment Form or a court order. Refer to H.6.1.
H16. If there is more than one child with the same custodial party and the same alleged father, should one set of documents be sent to your state (with a paternity affidavit for each child) or should a separate packet be sent for each child?
One set of documents with a Paternity Affidavit for each child. Also requried are, a copy of each child's birth certificate and a copy of the Paternity Acknowledgment, if one exists. For information regarding Georgia's Intergovernmental Forms Requirements, please visit the "For Intergovernmental Agencies" under the General Information section of the GA DCSS website: http://dcss.dhs.georgia.gov/georgia-uifsa-requirements.

I. Support Order Establishment

I1. Does your state use an administrative, judicial, or a combined process to establish a support obligation?
Both
I1.1. If your state can establish under both, under what circumstances would the administrative process be used?
In those circuits where court time is limited, the administrative process is used.
I1.2. Under what circumstances would a judicial process would be used?
Each circuit determines the best course of action to take.
I1.3. If your state uses an administrative process, provide the statutory citations for your state's administrative procedures.
O.C.G.A. 50-13-40 and the Office of State Administrative Hearings Rules, Chapter 616
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I2. In setting support under your state's guidelines, whose income is considered in addition to the noncustodial (NCP's) (for example, new spouses or children)?
Custodial Parent
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I3. What criteria for rebutting your presumptive guidelines have been established in your state?
By a finding that: 1. shows the guidelines in a particular case are unjust or inappropriate; 2. states the amount that would have been required by the guidelines; 3. justifies why the order varies from the guidelines.
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I4. Will your state establish support orders for prior periods?
No
I4.1. If yes, for what prior periods (for example, birth of the child, date of separation, prenatal expenses, 5 years retroactive)?
N/A
I4.2. What information or documentation does your State require to proceed?
N/A
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I4.3. Will your state allow a petition for support when the only issue is retroactive support?
No
I4.4. If there are limitations upon your state's ability to establish support for prior periods, specify those limitations.
Georgia's guidelines for establishing support pursuant to O.C.G.A.19-6-15 do not provide for support for prior periods.
I5. What actions can your state perform using the administrative process? For example, does your state use an administrative process for paternity, establishment, modification, and the enforcement of child support?
Paternity and support order establishment. Modification of underlying administrative orders only. Various enforcement tools including but not limited to Income Withholding, license suspension, liens, etc. Orders, Unemployment Compensation Intercept, Withhold and Deliver, FIDM and Workers Compensation liens, federal and state tax offset, lottery.
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I6. What is your state's statutory authority for the administrative process?
Office of State Administrative Hearings Rules 616-1-2 and Georgia Law, O.C.G.A. 50-13-et seq.
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I7. Is there a local state law that allows an interstate administrative subpoena?
Yes, for in-state cases only.
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I8. Does your state require that a custodial party receiving public assistance, who is not one of the biological parents, have legal custody of a child before establishing an order for support for that child?
Not when the child is receiving TANF or Medicaid benefits.
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I9. Does your state require that a custodial party who is not one of the biological parents, have legal custody of a child before establishing an order for support for that child when public assistance is not being expended?
In non-TANF cases, legal guardianship or custody is required.
I10. Does your state require that a custodial party, who is not one of the biological parents, have legal custody of a child before enforcing an order for support that was issued to the biological parents as the parties for non-public assistance cases?
Yes. If a case remains active, OCSS will continue enforcing the order for the custodian in the order.
I11. When your state has issued an order that reserves support and now child support should now be ordered, should the other state request an establishment or a modification?
Georgia OCSS does not reserve child support. The other state should request establishment.
I12. When there is an existing support order between the parents of a child, and the child's residence changes from one parent to the other, does your state require that the new custodian obtain legal custody before a support order is modified or established?
Yes. On non-TANF or Medicaid only cases legal guardianship or custody is required.
I13. When there is an existing support order between the parents of a child, and the child's residence changes from one parent to the other, does your state require that the new custodian obtain legal custody before support can be redirected to the new payee?
Yes.
I14. What methods of personal service does your state use? **
Forward documents needing to be served to the sheriff or other public official Forward documents needing to be served to a private contractor
I15. Does your state send and receive pleadings and documents electronically in international cases? **
No
I15.1 If yes, specify the types of pleadings and documents your state can send and receive electronically. **
N/A
I16. When establishing a child support order, what can be included as add-ons to the child support guideline amount? **
Child care expenses Extra-curricular activities Attorney's fees Case medical support Extraordinary expenses - The child support obligation table includes average child rearing expenditures for families given the parents' combined adjusted income and number of children. Extraordinary expenses are in excess of average amounts estimated in the child support obligation table and are highly variable among families. Extraordinary expenses shall be considered on a case-by-case basis in the calculation of support and may form the basis for deviation from the presumptive amount of child support so that the actual amount of the expense is considered in the calculation of the final child support order for only those families actually incurring the expense. Extraordinary expenses shall be prorated between the parents by assigning or deducting credit for actual payments for extraordinary expenses.
I17. Please provide the relevant statutory or case law citation. **
OCGA 19-6-15
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I18. Does your state encourage amicable solutions between parents in order to promote voluntary payment of support, such as the use of mediation, conciliation, or similar consent processes? **
No
I18.1 If yes, indicate the appropriate responses. **
N/A

J. Support Enforcement

J1. Indicate whether your state has the following enforcement remedies available. Also indicate what procedures are available (i.e., judicial, administrative, or both).
J1.1. Are your state income tax refund procedures judicial, administrative, or both?
Administrative. Effective September 1, 2004 Georgia began deducting an administrative processing fee of $12.00 from any state tax intercept received by the state. These fees are over and above the support owed and paid for out of the tax refund.
J2. Is the lien process in your state judicial, administrative, or both?
Both
J2.1. What are the trigger criteria for filing a lien?
Arrearage equal to 1 month support payment
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J2.2. Where are your state liens filed?
In the county of the real or personal property at the County Recording Office
J2.3. Does your state charge a fee for filing a lien?
No
J2.4. If yes, please indicate the amount.
N/A
J.3. Does your state enforce property seizure and sale?
Yes
J3.1. Are the property seizure and sale procedures judicial, administrative, or both?
Both.
J4. Are the MSFIDM freeze and seize procedures in your state judicial, administrative, or both?
Administrative
J4.1. When must an NCP receive notice that a MSFIDM freeze and seize action is an enforcement remedy and may be used by the state to collect delinquent child support?
When case is established and when case becomes delinquent
J4.2. Does your state's income withholding definition include amounts in financial institutions?
No
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J4.3. Does your state require a new notice to be sent when intent to freeze and seize is sent?
Yes
J4.3.1 If yes, who notifies the NCP, the state or the financial institution?
The IV-D Agency
J5. What are the time frames if a new notice of intent to freeze and seize must be sent?
Notice is sent to financial institution and notice is sent to obligor 5 days later.
J5.1. What are the criteria that must be met to deem an obligor eligible for freeze and seize action in your state?
Two months delinquency of current support to be eligible for FIDM lien.
J5.2. What is the minimum delinquent dollar amount that makes an obligor eligible for asset seizure?
Two months delinquency of current support to be eligible for FIDM lien.
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J5.3. Is there a specified amount of time of delinquency required prior to proceeding with freeze and seize?
Yes.
J5.3.1. If yes, please provide the time frame.
Two months delinquency of current support to be eligible for FIDM lien.
J5.4. Are only a certain percentage of the obligor's financial assets eligible for freeze and seize?
No
J5.4.1. If yes, provide the percentage.
N/A
J5.4.2. Is the percentage different for joint accounts?
No
J5.4.3. If yes, describe.
N/A
J5.5. Does your state require a minimum amount of money in a financial account for the funds to be eligible for freeze and seize action? If so, provide the amount.
Administratively reviewed for a minimum balance of $2000.00 in checking account and a minimum balance of $500.00 in all other financial accounts.
J5.6. Who is responsible for applying the minimum amount, your state or the financial institution?
Both.
J5.7. How long does the obligor or other account holders have to contact your state child support enforcement agency or court to challenge the Freeze and Seize action?
Ten (10) days in writing.
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J5.8. If state law or policy allows for a second contest to a freeze and seize action, how long does the obligor or joint account holder have to contact your child support agency or court to challenge the freeze and seize action?
Ten (10) more days, after which the local office must petition for a court hearing within 30 days of the NCP's written hearing request.
J5.9. On what basis can an obligor and/or other account holder challenge a Freeze and Seize action?
Mistake of identity or delinquent amount (seized amount) only.
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J5.10. Is your state's complaint review process judicial, administrative, or both?
Both
J5.11. What are your state's penalties for incorrect seizures?
Reimbursement of fees assessed by financial institution.
J5.12. Is the second challenge administrative, judicial, or both?
Judicial.
J5.13. What is your state's appeal time frame, unique appeal requirements and recourse for non-debtor accounts?
Ten (10) days from receipt of notice. No unique requirements. Non-debtor has same appeal rights as obligor.
J5.14. Is the freeze and seize operation in your state centralized or automated?
Not centralized. Forms are automated after manually selected by case manager.
J5.15. Are there additional freeze and seize requirements or limitations not otherwise noted in this profile?
Judicial appeal must be filed in GA county of underlying order.
J5.16. Does your state have procedures to liquidate non-liquid assets (for example, stocks, bonds, etc)?
No
J5.16.1 If yes, provide the state authority and the procedures financial institutions should follow to liquidate non-liquid assets.
N/A
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J5.17. Does your state law or policies instruct the financial institution or state to hold the frozen assets during the challenge or appeal time frame or freeze period?
Yes.
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J5.18. How long does the financial institution have to send the obligor's assets to your child support enforcement agency?
20 days.
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J6. Does your state withhold state funds or benefits?
Yes
J6.1. If yes, is the method of withholding state benefits judicial, administrative or both?
Both.
J7. Describe any other administrative enforcement procedures your state may have.
Administrative: Lottery Intercept Procedure 712
J8. Describe any other judicial enforcement procedures your state may have.
Contempt
J9. If your State has established specific procedures for registering administrative liens, what are the procedures that another State must follow?
Request enforcement under Full Faith and Credit. Georgia will register the order for enforcement: Procedure 910. O.C.G.A 19-11-9.3.
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J10. Which of your state's enforcement remedies are available without judicial actions?
State tax refund, wage withholding, license revocation, administrative liens, financial institution data match (FIDM).
J11. Describe your state's procedures for registering and enforcing another state's order.
It is Georgia's option to enforce by administrative remedies without registration or to register the order and seek judicial enforcement. For registration: 1. order(s) are filed with the Clerk of Court. 2. Notice is provided to the non-registering party along with a copy of order(s) registered. 3. Confirmation of the registered order occurs by operation of law where there is no hearing request or by judicial order if contesting party does not establish a valid defense. 4. A contempt action may be filed, generally as a last resort, when all other enforcement actions have failed.
J12. Describe additional judicial procedures required after registration, if any, to enforce a support order.
None
J13. Has your state adopted the Uniform Enforcement of Foreign Judgments Act (UEFJA)?
Yes
J13.1. If yes, provide the statutory citation.
O.C.G.A. 9-12-130 through 9-12-138
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J14. What are your state's criteria for reporting an obligor's child support information to credit bureaus?
Initiating interstate cases are excluded from the referral. The responding state does the reporting. If another state reports the same debt, a CSENET or letter is mailed to ask the initiating state to cease reporting. The threshold for automatic referral is a case with a total arrears greater than or equal to $3000.00 per case. Interest is excluded in the referral amount.
J15. To which credit bureaus does your state report an obligor's child support information?
Innovis
J16. Is the method for credit bureau reporting judicial, administrative, or both?
Administrative
J17. These questions describe state procedures for Automated Administrative Enforcement in Interstate Cases (AEI). Refer to OCSE-AT-08-06 for additional information about AEI.
J18. What data matches with financial institutions and other entities (and the seizure of such assets) are available through AEI in your state? Examples may include liens and levies, MSFIDM, FIDM, state benefits (lump sum), state lottery, state income tax, etc.
Georgia does not participate in AEI.
J19. What documentation does your state require to proceed with an AEI request?
N/A
J20. What mandatory data elements does your state need to process AEI requests?
N/A
For Additional Information - http://www.acf.hhs.gov/programs/cse/pol/AT/2008/at-08-06.htm
J21. Which additional data elements would aid your state in processing AEI requests?
N/A
J22. How many copies/sets of documents does your state require with an AEI request?
N/A
J23. What are the criteria that must be met to deem an obligor eligible for any AEI matches available in the state, aside from liens/levies and MSFIDM?
N/A
J24. Does your state's law require financial institutions doing business in your state to accept freeze and seize actions directly from other states?
Yes
J24.1. If no, then describe the process for a freeze and seize action from another child support agency (for example, Transmittal #1 or Transmittal #3), and list the additional documentation required.
N/A
J25. What is the procedure for obtaining a certified copy of a court order?
CSE Transmittal #3 to Central Registry. A case on GA's system is required. The CSE Transmittal #3 is forwarded to the local office to acknowledge and process. If no case, the requesting state will have to request through the GA Clerk of Court.
J26. What is the procedure for obtaining a certified payment record?
A case and CSE Transmittal #3 to Central Registry. A case on GA's system is required. The CSE Transmittal #3 is forwarded to the local office to acknowledge and process.
J27. Is there a cost for requesting a certified copy of a court order or payment record?
Possibly. It depends on the Clerk of Court.
J28. What are your state's policies and practices for driver's license revocation for nonpayment of support and reinstatement, especially for low income parents or a hardship exemption?
Oblilgors who can show that they are willing but unable to pay their court ordered child support obligation may have their license suspention lifted by an administrative law judge.
J29. What triggers a driver's license revocation?
All account balances are equal to or greater than two times each Support Ordered Amount(SOA).
J29.1 Is there a threshold arrears amount that serves as the basis to revoke or suspend a driver's license?
Yes
J29.2 If yes, what is the amount?
All Account Balances are equal to or greater than two times each SOA.
J30. Under what conditions may a noncustodial party restore the driver's license?
When all account balances are below the suspension threshold, automated notice is transmitted to the Department of Driver Service.
J30.1 What is the process for restoring a driver's license?
When all account balances are below the suspension threshold, automated notice is transmitted to the Department of Driver Service.
J31. Does your state allow temporary or conditional driver's licenses?
No
J31.1 If yes, what are the conditions?
N/A.
J32. Describe any innovations or special practices your state uses regarding driver's license revocation and reinstatement.
None.
J33. When your state is the initiating state, does it submit delinquent cases to the Debtor File for federal administrative offset?
Yes.
J33.1 If yes, does your state require a minimum dollar amount greater than $25.00 before submitting delinquent cases for administrative offset?
Yes.
J33.2 What is the dollar amount?
TANF - $150; Non-TANF - $500.
J35. When your state is the initiating state, does it submit delinquent cases to the Debtor File for insurance match?
Yes
J35.1 If yes, does your state require a minimum dollar amount greater than $25.00 before submitting delinquent cases for insurance match?
Yes.
J36. When your state is the responding state, does it submit delinquent cases to the Debtor File for federal administrative offset?
No.
J36.1 If yes, does your state require a minimum dollar amount greater than $25.00 before submitting delinquent cases for federal administrative offset?
N/A.
J36.2 What is the dollar amount?
N/A.
J38. When your state is the responding state, does it submit delinquent cases to the Debtor File for insurance match?
No
J38.1 If yes, does your state require a minimum dollar amount greater than $25.00 before submitting delinquent cases for insurance match?
N/A.
J38.2 What is the dollar amount?
N/A.
J39. When your state is the responding state, does it submit delinquent cases to the Debtor File for passport denial?
No.
J40. Does your state give the NCP credit for Retirement, Survivors, and Disability Insurance (RSDI) benefits received directly by the CP?
No.

K. Modification and Review/Adjustment

K1. How frequently does your state conduct order reviews in IV-D cases (for example, every year, every three years)?
Every three years. Parties must show a substantial change in circumstances for more frequent reviews. For TANF cases, upon the written request of either party or at the discretion of the IV-D agency. For Non-TANF and Medicaid applicants, only upon the written request of either party. IMPORTANT FEE NOTICE: See F6.1 regarding exclusions to Georgia's non-refundable $100 Modification Review Application Fee.
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K2. Briefly describe your state's modification procedure.
Parties are provided notice of the review and requested to provide financial and other information. Agency reviews information provided by parties and gathers from other sources to determine gross income, number of children for whom support is provided and any special circumstances that would require a deviation from the guidelines. If the case does not meet the 15% and $25 minimum requirement for an increase or decrease, agency issues a no change Recommendation. The agency sends its' Recommendations for an increase or decrease in the support amount to the Office of State Administrative Hearings (OSAH) for administrative orders, or to the court for judicial orders. Parties are notified and afforded rights to contest. For judicial orders, the court issues an order for modification. Special Note: In order for Georgia to modify an order, the requesting state must request full services.
K3. What are your criteria for modification (for example, $50 or 20% from present order)?
Both a 15% and a $25 minimum increase or decrease in the current support amount for orders older than 36 months. For more frequent reviews, the requesting party must show a substantial change in circumstances. Special Note: In order for Georgia to modify an order, the requesting state must request full services.
K4. Which of the following criteria for demonstrating a change in circumstances apply for modifying an order?
K4.1. The earnings of the obligor have substantially increased or decreased.
Yes
K4.2. The earnings of the obligee have substantially increased or decreased.
Yes
K4.3. The needs of a party or the child(ren) have substantially increased or decreased.
Yes
K4.4. The cost of living as measured by the Federal Bureau of Vital Statistics has changed.
No
K4.5. The child(ren) has extraordinary medical expenses not covered by insurance.
Yes
K4.6. There has been a substantial change in childcare expenses.
No
K4.7. What other criteria does your state use for demonstrating a change in circumstances for modifying an order?
In addition, the change in circumstances is expected to last at least one year; the change in circumstances was not voluntary; a disability must be medically certified.
K5. Does your state have cost of living adjustments (COLAs) for orders?
No
K5.1. If yes, what index does your state use?
N/A
K6. How does your state credit SSA disability to current and past-due support?
It would depend on the case status, but typically is applied towards arrears. Contact the local office for further information about a specific case.
K7. Does your state abate support? For example, when the child is not living with the CP for more than 30 days and there has not been a change in custody or when the NCP is in prison, etc.
No
K7.1. If yes, explain the circumstances?
N/A
K7.2. What is the statutory citation for your abatement law?
N/A
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K7.3. What documents does your state require for each type of referral other than UIFSA referrals? For example, pay records and certifications for TANF, etc.
For information regarding Georgia's Intergovernmental Forms Requirements, please visit the "For Intergovernmental Agencies" under the General Information section of the GA DCSS website: http://dcss.dhs.georgia.gov/georgia-uifsa-requirements. Special Note: In order for Georgia to modify an order, the requesting state must request full services.
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K7.4. What information does your state need to obtain copies of paternity acknowledgements/affidavits and birth records, including where to make requests and the cost of processing the requests.
Certified copies of paternity acknowledgments/affidavits and birth records must be obtained from the State Office of Vital Records, 2600 Skyland Drive, Atlanta, GA 30319. The phone number is 404-679-4702, web site: http://health.state.ga.us/programs/vitalrecords The charge is currently $10.00 per copy. A copy of the state/county employee ID and a copy of the court order must be submitted with the request. To obtain an unofficial copy (not certified), email dkalexander@dhr.state.ga.us.
K8. What information does your state require to register an out-of-state order for enforcement/modification?
Interstate Transmittal 1, Uniform Support Petition, Registration Statement, Certified copies of all court orders (not just most recent contempt order) Certified arrears calculation/payment history (showing a monthly breakdown), General Testimony. GA requires certified pay histories showing a monthly breakdown when requesting: registration for enforcement only; enforcement and modification; determination of controlling order and reconciliation of arrears; and administrative change of payee. Copies only on administrative redirection of payments; and enforcement of responding state's order. Special Note: In order for Georgia to modify an order, the requesting state must request full services.
K9. When a child reaches the age of emancipation and arrears are owed on the order, and there is no established payment on arrears, does your state statute allow collection to continue at the same rate as current support?
Yes, if it is so stated in the DHS order. Only in this instance.
K9.1. When a child reaches the age of emancipation and arrears are owed on the order, and there is an established payment on arrears, does your state statute allow collection to continue at the same rate as current support, current support plus arrears, or the arrears payment amount only?
Yes, if it is so defined in the underlying order.
K10. What circumstances will cause your state to end child support before the normal duration? **
The child emancipates before the normal duration The child marries The child enters into military service prior to the normal duration The child is adopted by someone other than the non-custodial parent

L. Payments

L1. Does your state define a lump sum payment?
No
L1.1 If yes, give your state's definition. (Be specific, for example, severance pay, incentives, relocation lump sum payments, etc.).
N/A
L1.2 Provide the statutory citation.
N/A
For Additional Information - exit disclaimer
L2. Does your state law require employers to report lump sum payments?
No
L2.1 If yes, give the statutory citation or rule.
N/A
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L3. Are employers required to report lump sum payments for all income-withholding orders (including cases with no arrears)?
No
L3.1 If yes, what is the threshold amount at which a lump sum payment must be reported?
No, not by statute. However employers may be required to report and withhold lump sum payments such as bonuses, commissions, or severance pay if that language is included in the court order.
L4. How are employers instructed to report a pending lump sum?
Employers may be required to report and withhold lump sum payments such as bonuses, commissions, or severance pay if that language is included in the court order.
L5. What is the timeframe within which the child support enforcement agency must respond to the employer with instructions for attaching the lump sum?
No timeframe set by law. Georgia's administrative procedure is to respond within 10 business days.
L6. Does your state use the income-withholding order to attach the lump sum payment?
No
L7. Does your state use the lien/levy process to attach lump sum payments?
No
L7.1. If yes, what is the name of the document your state uses to attach non-wage lump sum payments?
N/A
L8. What other documents does your state use to attach lump sum payments?
Order to Withhold and Deliver. Notice of Garnishment. If the court order contains language regarding garnishments as an enforcement remedy and the underlying order setting support does not include bonuses/commissions the Notice of Garnishment is used. If the court order does not contain this language and the underlying order setting support does not include bonuses/commissions the Order to Withhold and Deliver is processed.
L9. If the lump sum payment is considered earnings as defined by the Consumer Credit Protection Act (CCPA), does your state have higher limits on withholding than the CCPA limit?
Yes
L9.1. If yes, what are those limits?
50% or up to the balance owed.
L9.2. If the lump sum is not considered to be earnings as defined by the CCPA, does your state limit the withholding/attachment?
N/A
For Additional Information - exit disclaimer
L9.3. If yes, what are those limits?
N/A
L9.4. If no, what percentage is the employer required to withhold?
50% or up to the balance owed of the lump sum should be withheld regardless as to whether or not that period's obligation has been met as long as there is an arrearage equal to one month's support obligation. The CCPA limits (50% to 65%) would apply to regular wages for that period's obligation.
L10. If an employer pays the lump sum in addition to regular wages in a single payment, would the CCPA limits apply?
Yes
L10.1 If yes, would the employer only withhold for that period's obligation?
Yes
L11. Does your state have a direct deposit program?
Yes
L11.1 If so, specify the vendor.
Direct Deposit information is entered directly into our database.
L12. Does your state have a debit card program?
Yes
L12.1 If so, specify the vendor.
Xerox
L13. Is the debit card used for any other state government programs (TANF, SNAP, etc.)?
Yes, TANF Program
L13.1 If so, are there fees involved?
Yes
L14. What are the fees associated with using the card?
$1.25 access fee, $1.25 withdrawal after 2 free with monthly deposit or 1 free no deposit per month, $5.00 replacement fee, $0.10 mobile balance request, $1.50 transfer to another bank, $1.25 inactivity fee after 12 months no activity, $0.35 call in charge after 5 free per month.
L15. How does your state collect child support payments from an obligor? **
Payments must be made to a central location Payments may be made by income withholding Payments may be made by check or warrant Payments may be made by credit card Payments may be made by electronic funds transfer Payments may be made in cash
L16. How does your state disburse child support payments to foreign reciprocating and treaty countries when your state is the responding state in a case? **
Payments may be by check Payments may be by electronic funds transfer
L17. What actions does your state take to reduce the costs and fees associated with international payment processing? **
All payments are processed through a designated authority All payments are processed upon receipt
L18. Does your state process electronic payments in international cases? **
No
L18.1 If so, describe the process. **
N/A
L19. What is your state's International Bank Account Number (IBAN)? **
BRBTUS33

M. Insurance Match

M1. Note: The Consumer Credit Protection Act (CCPA) limits may apply to any insurance payments issued as an income loss replacement.

For Additional Information - exit disclaimer
M1.1. Additional information on the CCPA.

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M2. Does your state have legislation that requires insurance companies doing business in your state to provide, exchange, or look up information with or for your state IV-D agency to determine whether a claimant owes past-due child support?
No
M2.1. If yes, provide the statutory citation
N/A
For Additional Information - exit disclaimer
M2.1.2. What information is an insurer required to provide, exchange, or look up with your state's IV-D agency?
N/A
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M2.2. How long before making a payment to a claimant must an insurer provide information to the agency?
N/A
M2.3. What criteria must an obligor meet to be eligible for your state's insurance match, exchange, look up, or intercept program? For example, is the law limited to specific claimants (such as policyholder, beneficiary or joint policyholder), types of claims (such as life, property/casualty, or workers' compensation), or specific policies (such as annuities, short term/long term disability)?
Must have an arrears balance of at least $500
M2.4. Must the obligor meet a monetary threshold (dollar amount or percentage of payment) to be eligible for your state's insurance match program?
$500 arrears balance.
M2.5. What does the law require an insurer to do to determine whether a claimant owes past-due child support (for example, log into a secure web application and enter identifying information about the claimant)?
N/A
M2.6. Does your state law provide an alternative method or measure that an insurer may use to determine whether the claimant owes past-due child support (for example, participation in the OCSE Insurance Match Program satisfies the requirement)?
N/A
M2.7. Does your state law establish a penalty for an insurer that fails to comply with the requirement for determining whether a claimant owes past-due child support? If so, provide the statutory citation.
N/A
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M2.8. Does your state law protect an insurer from liability for acting in accordance with the insurance match law?
N/A
M3. If there is no law, are insurers required to respond to subpoenas or requests for information and liens/levies or IWOs?
Yes.
M3.1. Provide the statutory citation.
O.C.G.A. 19-11-11
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M4. What forms does your state use to intercept insurance payments, settlements, or awards (such as IWO, Notice of Lien/Levy)?
Federal Invome Withholding Administrative Lein
M5. Who is required notify the NCP of the insurance intercept activity: the child support enforcement agency, the insurance agency, or both?
Division of Child Support Services
M5.1. Provide your statutory citation for notifying an NCP of insurance intercept.
O.C.G.A. 19-11-18
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M5.2. Once notified, is there an appeal period for the obligor and what is its length? Give the statutory citation.
30 days. O.C.G.A 19-11-18(b)(2)
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M6. Are there attorney fees associated with the insurance intercept activity?
No
M7. How does another state initiate and intercept collections from your state workers' compensation agency?
Through the Federal Income Withholding Administrative Lien form and by interfacing between DOL and DCSS.
M7.1. What is the process, the points of contact, and what forms?
DOL & DCSS interface nightly. DCSS is point of contact. FIW Admin form is filed and sent to DOL.

N. Case Closure

N1. Does your state send a CSENet case closure transaction to let the responding state know its intergovernmental services are no longer needed? (MSC P GSC15)
No
N2. Does your state send a CSENet case closure transaction to notify the initiating state that its case is closed based on one of the following reasons: (MSC P GSC16) (a)Initiating state failure to take an action essential for the next steps? (b)The initiating state requested the responding state to close the case?
Yes
N3. Does your state send a CSENet case closure transaction to notify the responding state that it must stop any income withholding orders or notices and close the intergovernmental case? MSC P GSC17)
Yes
N4. Does your state send a CSENet case closure transaction to notify the initiating state that per its request the case is closed and your state has stopped its income withholding order? (MSC P GSC18)
No