Legal Question in Family Law in Georgia

I was divorced in Fulton County, when my daughter was 10. I now live in Gwinnett County, Georgia, & my ex lives in Gwinnett also. I was awarded $2000 per month in child support in 2005, in which I have never seen a dime of. My ex fled the country & lived in Thailand (he's never been there before) to avoid child support. When he was forced to come back, he kidnapped my daughter, and then got his mother to sue me for custody .. all in an effort to not pay. He spent a year in jail for the kidnapping, & 1 year in jail for child abandonment. He currently lives with his mother, who supports him (he is 52 yrs old!). He does not work .. so he won't have to pay!

After he & his mother lost the court battles, my daughter has not heard one word from them. No birthday wishes .. not a phone call or text or email. Not even a Christmas card. It really shows where their interests lie.

My child is now 18, but the arrears are in excess of 100k. I have a case filed with the state, and they have done NOTHING except try to serve the ex papers. He won't answer the door. Duh. He & his mother have cost me thousands of dollars in legal fees. I would really like to try and collect at least some of this arrearage. You can't imagine all of the hardship this has caused my daughter and me. We are still trying to recover.

Can I put a lien on his mother's house or property? Is there ANY other course of action to take?

Asked on 9/02/13, 1:07 pm

2 Answers from Attorneys

Tahira Piraino Tahira P. Piraino

You can tell Child Support Enforcement you want to cancel enforcement through them and obtain the services of a private attorney to file a contempt. Your ex can be served by an appointed process server. The Sheriff's Department does an excellent job of serving papers, but does not have the time or manpower to post themselves outside a residence to wait for someone to exit. A process server can do that. In the alternative, you may wish to discuss with your caseworker the possibility of having the papers served by a process server at your expense. Staying with Child Support Enforcement does not cost you. Pursuing through a private attorney does.

If your ex is not on the title to his mother's house or property, you cannot file a lien against her property. You are in a mess and I understand your frustration. I can be reached at 404/248-0203 should you wish to schedule an appointment to further discuss your options.

Tahira P. Piraino

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Answered on 9/02/13, 1:24 pm

Robert Gardner Hicks, Massey & Gardner, LLP

If you were awarded attorney's fees from his mother in the custody case she filed, you can seek to try and reduce that to a judgement to lien her home, or seek to have her punished by contempt in the custody case. Otherwise, there is not much you can do against her. As to your ex, I agree with the other response that firing child support enforcement and hiring you own attorney to go after him may be the better bet with someone who is not working and avoiding service.

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Answered on 9/03/13, 6:34 am

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