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Temporary child support in Georgia paternity cases

Publish Date: 05/16/2011

While a petition for paternity is pending in Georgia, a party to the action (usually the mother or guardian of the child) may file a motion for a temporary order of child support. OCGA§19-7-46.2. If there is “clear and convincing evidence of paternity,” the temporary order is required to be issued in accordance with the child support guidelines, and will be valid pendinga determination of parentage. OCGA §19-7-46.2(a).

Since there will have been no final determination of parentage at the time the temporary order is issued, the payments are not made to the child’s mother or guardian. Rather, any child supportpayments made pursuant to the order are made to the court, which deposits the money into a separate bank account to be held in escrow. OCGA §19-7-46.2(b). If there is a final judgmentthat the alleged father is the father of the child, the amount held in escrow “shall be paid to the appropriate person or entity along with any interest that may have accrued.” OCGA§19-7-46.2(c). The appropriate entity in this situation is likely the mother of the child. If there is a final judgment that the alleged father is not the father of the child, the amount inescrow “shall be returned to the putative father along with any interest that may have accrued.” OCGA §19-7-46.2(d).

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