Ga. Comp. R. & Regs. R. 290-7-1-.04 - Establishment of Child Support Obligation

Current through Rules and Regulations filed through April 4, 2022

(a) Initial investigation. In cases in which no child support order already exists, the Department may conduct an investigation in accordance with O.C.G.A. § 19-11-10 to determine the ability of a putative obligor to support his/her child(ren). The Department will calculate the amount of the support award based on the standards set forth at O.C.G.A. § 19-6-15. If paternity is contested, the Department shall pursue a determination of paternity as permitted by law.
(b) Genetic Testing
(1) In accordance with Georgia law as amended in 2015, genetic testing will be required in any case in which paternity is at issue and paternity has not previously been established. In such instances, the Department will issue an order for genetic testing, which will be provided to both putative parents of the child at issue. The order shall specify the time and place for genetic samples to be obtained. An applicant for services who fails to comply with the order for genetic testing is failing to cooperate with the Department, and his/her case is subject to administrative closure. An application will not be deemed complete unless accompanied by an applicant's sworn statement alleging or denying paternity. The sworn statement is required by law, O.C.G.A. § 19-7-43. A defendant in a paternity case who fails to comply with the departmental genetic testing order shall be held to have waived any right to genetic testing in the case or in any proceedings involving the Department. The Department may initiate litigation prior to the completion of genetic testing, in which case the testing shall take place as ordered by the court. Genetic testing will not be pursued in cases involving adoption or the use of reproductive assistance techniques which would negate biological relations (such as embryo donation, egg donation, sperm donation, etc.). The cost of genetic testing shall be cast upon the defendant if the results show that the defendant is the biological parent of the child.
(2) Any genetic material collected for a paternity test shall be destroyed by the Department and any contractor, vendor, or laboratory authorized to do testing for the Department no earlier than one year but no later than two years from the date that the result of such test is transmitted to the Department. The Department may extend this period of time if needed due to a continuing court action or legal dispute by notice to the contractor, vendor, or laboratory. Neither the Department nor any contractor, vendor, or laboratory authorized to do testing for the Department may share the genetic material with any other person or agency, or use the genetic material for any purpose other than the determination of paternity. The contractor, vendor, or laboratory must agree to comply with terms and conditions set forth within a contract for services with the department including but not limited to liquidated damages due to the improper release, use, or failure to destroy information or materials associated with paternity testing services.
(c) Consent agreement. When the investigation is complete, the Department will request that the putative obligor enter into a consent agreement to provide child support (including medical support) and to provide medical insurance when available to the putative obligor in accordance with O.C.G.A. § 19-11-26. Subsequently, the Department will submit a signed consent agreement to OSAH for the issuance of a support order and will issue an FIW after entry of the consent order if the obligor is employed.
(d) Establishment at Hearing. If the Department is unable to secure a consent agreement from the putative obligor, the Department will file a request for hearing before an administrative law judge appointed by OSAH to determine the duty of and ability of the putative obligor to provide child support. The amount of the support shall be determined in accordance with O.C.G.A. § 19-6-15 and shall include medical insurance for his/her children when available pursuant to O.C.G.A. § 19-6-15(h)(2)(B)(iii) or available at reasonable cost pursuant to O.C.G.A. § 19-11-26. An administrative hearing and any appeal therefrom under this Rule shall be in accordance with the procedures set forth at Rule 290-7-1-.19.
(e) If a nonparent custodian is the party seeking establishment, the Department may proceed against all natural or adoptive parents of the child in the same proceeding unless jurisdictional defects require separate proceedings. Although a nonparent custodian applying for services may seek establishment against only one parent, the Department in its sole discretion may choose to proceed against both parents of the child(ren).
(f) As required by federal law, when TANF, Medicaid, or other public assistance is paid by the State of Georgia on behalf of a child, a referral is automatically made to the Department for establishment services. In such public assistance cases, the Department may proceed without an application for services in order to collect a public debt owed to the State of Georgia. In such public assistance cases only, the Department may seek to establish a support obligation even though the custodian of the child does not have legal custody.
(g) The Department may, in its sole discretion, elect to proceed in superior court to establish any child support obligation rather than proceed through OSAH.

Notes

Ga. Comp. R. & Regs. R. 290-7-1-.04
O.C.G.A. §§ 19-6-15, 19-6-17, 19-7-43, 19-11-8, 19-11-10, 19-11-15.
Original Rule entitled "Administrative Establishment of Child Support Obligation" adopted. F. Oct. 17, 1991; eff. Nov. 6, 1991. Repealed: New Rule entitled "Establishment of Child Support Obligation" adopted. F. June 15, 2011; eff. July 5, 2011. Amended: F. Dec. 17, 2015; eff. Jan. 6, 2016. Note: Correction of non-substantive typographical error in History,"Amended: F. Dec. 7, 2015; eff. Jan. 6, 2016." corrected to "Amended: F. Dec. 17, 2015; eff. Jan. 6, 2016." Effective Dec. 29, 2016. Amended: F. Dec. 9, 2016; eff. Dec. 29, 2016. Note: Error correction, Agency discovered omitted text in 290-7-1-.04(b)(1) on SOS Rules and Regulations website and requested correction Feb. 8, 2017. Text was deleted in error when Rule F. Dec. 17, 2015; eff. Jan. 6, 2016 was posted on website. Underlined text added: "A defendant in a paternity case who fails to comply with the departmental genetic testing order shall be held to have waived any right to genetic testing in the case or in any proceedings involving the Department. The Department may initiate litigation prior to the completion of genetic testing, in which case the testing shall take place as ordered by the court." Effective February 8, 2017. Amended: F. Sep. 11, 2018; eff. Oct. 1, 2018.

The following state regulations pages link to this page.



State regulations are updated quarterly; we currently have two versions available. Below is a comparison between our most recent version and the prior quarterly release. More comparison features will be added as we have more versions to compare.