It is not uncommon for a man to discover many years after a child’s birth that he is the child’s father. Georgia’s child support laws only address a parent’s prospective child support obligation in a situation in which the parents of the child are not married. In other words, the statute does not specifically require a parent to pay retroactive or back child support for the time period stretching from the child’s birth until the point at which the mother requests a child support order.
Nonetheless, Georgia case law does make it possible for a custodial parent to request reimbursement of what is referred to as “past due expenditures” from the noncustodial parent. Past due expenditures can include medical and hospitalization expenses for the child during the pregnancy, as well as during and after the child’s birth. However, past due expenditures are limited to expenses that the mother actually incurred for the child. A mother could not ask the father to reimburse her for the birthing expenses that she did not actually pay, but that, for instance, an insurance company paid.
Furthermore, the court must consider the respective incomes of both mother and father in deciding how to allocate responsibility for past due expenditures, or whether to order the father to reimburse the mother for these types of expenses. This factor limits father’s responsibility for the child’s expenses, in that the mother also could remain responsible for those expenses, particularly if her income is at a level at which she can easily afford those expenses.
If you are considering filing a parentage suit in which birthing expenses are an issue, the Shaw Law Firm LLC, can help. We will evaluate your situation and advise you about the available options in your case. Contact us or call today to learn how Shaw Law can work with you to achieve the best outcome possible for you and your children.
Scott Shaw is founder and principle of Shaw Law Firm LLC, founded in 1995 and dedicated solely to divorce, family law and child custody matters that must be addressed and decided in the state of Georgia. Shaw Law Firm serves the greater Metro Atlanta area, particularly the counties of Fulton, Gwinnett, Cobb, Cherokee, Forsyth, Paulding, Henry, Fayette, Coweta, Newton, Walton, Bartow and Douglas. Schedule a consultation today at 770-594-8309.