Making child support work—a family-focused justice campaign.

What’s wrong with Georgia’s child support policies?

Parents are barred from employment.

  • By suspending driver’s licenses because of debt, Georgia prevents parents from getting to work and making income. Parents face the difficult choice of losing jobs or driving and risking arrest.
  • Wage garnishment, often welcomed by parents, makes employment unsustainable when based on unaffordable orders. Employers suffer the burden and consequences.

Children don’t get the support they need.

  • Over $2.53 billion of unpaid child support money is currently owed to Georgia’s children, leaving kids without funds and without their fathers or mothers in their lives.
  • Over 83% of state-monitored child support cases involve a parent who is behind on payments. Only a small minority of cases—17%—are current and on-track. What we’re doing isn’t working.

Families are punished solely because they are poor.

  • Poor people stay in jail indefinitely—leaving children without parents and employers without workers—if they cannot pay an amount demanded by the court.
  • While wealthy people can get out of trouble and make amends with their children, poor parents are pushed deeper into poverty and families are broken by debt punishments.

How can child support work for all families?

Make child support orders accurate and effective.

  • Ensure that orders take into account and preserve self-sufficiency income for low-income parents; studies show affordable orders result in more payments and more money to children.
  • Quickly and efficiently modify orders when a parent suffers an involuntary job loss or disability, to help them to get back on their feet and preserve relationships with their children.

Assist parents to pay off debt and support their children.

  • Expand Georgia's existing Fatherhood Program and Parental Accountability Courts, which help parents get work and hold them accountable for making payments.
  • End practices of jailing parents and suspending driver’s licenses of parents who were unable to make payments or pay off debt. Instead of barriers, provide work incentives.

How can you help build a fair and effective child support system?

Join the campaign to reform Georgia’s child support policies!

  • Georgia Justice Project has launched a Child Support Reform Working Group to develop reform proposals and oversee a coalition-based campaign. We welcome your participation and ideas!
  • Share your story with agency officials, legislators, and our campaign, about how child support debt punishments have hurt your family’s ability to provide for itself and its children.

Questions? Comments? Ready to get involved?

Contact Ross Brockway at