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The Upside of Income Deduction Orders

In Georgia, income deduction orders, more commonly referred to as IDOs, are court order that require employers to withhold child support payments from the wages of the parent obligated to pay child support. Similar to several other states, all child support orders issued in Georgia after January 1, 1994 must order the immediate withholding of child support from the earnings of the obligated parent, unless the court finds or the parties agree that an IDO is not necessary in a particular case. See O.C.G.A. § 19-6-32.

Although the intent behind Georgia’s policy regarding income deduction orders is to speedy and efficient payment of child support, many non-custodial parents obligated to pay child support firmly income deduction orders because of the negative stereotype often associated with having child support payments directly withheld or garnished from wages.  Obligated parents should be aware however that despite the negative stereotype associated with IDOs, there are several upsides to having an IDO in place for the purpose of paying child support. For example, because income deduction orders require child support payments to be automatically withheld from the non-custodial parent’s paycheck by that parent’s employer:

  • Unnecessary contact between the non-custodial and custodial parents is eliminated
  • There is no concern that the payment will be forgotten or arrive late
  • There is no need for the non-custodial parent to manually deliver payments to the custodial parent via the mail or in-person
  • Both parties have a complete and accurate record of payments made maintained by an impartial third party source
  • The non-custodial parent has peace of mind knowing that his or her payments will be received by the custodial parent on time and in accordance with the court’s order

These are only a few examples of the advantages income deduction orders may have from a non-custodial parent’s point of view.

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