Do Women Have to Pay Child Support?


In the past, there was little discussion about which parent would pay child support in the event of a divorce. The standard was that the mother would have custody of the children, while the father would pay child support.

While this was the case, times have certainly changed, and men today don’t always end up paying child support, especially if they have primary custody of the minor children and/or they were not the main breadwinners in the home. In some marriages, the woman works and brings home an income while men stay home with the children. Even in marriages where both parents work, sometimes the women are the ones making the majority of the household income. These types of situations beg the question: Do women have to pay child support?

While we don’t hear much about women having to pay child support, they are not exempt from doing so. If a woman is not a child’s primary custodial parent, she will be ordered to pay support to the father. It has become a trend in the past several years, with divorce lawyers seeing an increase in the number of mothers who are ordered to pay child support.

This may seem shocking to many people, considering that we are still seeing a pay gap between males and females. However, more and more women are achieving success in their careers and therefore out earning their husbands. Men nowadays are also spending more time with their children or even taking on the role of being the primary custodian of the minor children than in years past, and as a result, it is becoming more common than in the past to find women paying child support in higher numbers than they have in the past.

Also shocking is that non-custodial mothers are less likely to pay child support than non-custodial fathers. One-quarter of custodial mothers have not received child support payments from the father, while 32 percent of custodial fathers have not received payments from the mother, according to data provided by the U.S Census Bureau. Not only is nonpayment of child support common among both genders, non-payment tends to be more common among mothers mandated to pay it to their ex-spouses.

What Georgia Law Says

Under the Official Code of Georgia (O.C.G.A.) §19-6-15, child support is awarded based on how much time each parent spends with the children, as well as each parent’s income. Child support is awarded to the custodial parent, which is defined as the parent who has the child more than 50 percent of the time. When both parents spend an equal amount of time with the child, the court will decide which parent can be considered the custodial parent for child support purposes.

The law does not specify that the father is the one to pay child support. If the father has custody of the child, he is entitled to receive child support from the child’s mother.

Contact a Georgia Family Law Attorney for Assistance Today

Child support is based on income and custody, not gender. Both women and men are eligible for child custody and child support. Custodial parents—whether they are fathers or mothers—are allowed under law to collect child support. If you have questions or concerns, the Georgia child support attorneys at Mitchell & Crunk can help. Make sure your rights are protected. Schedule a free consultation by contacting us today at (770) 809-3757.