Abandoned Minor Child, Custodial Parent

The purpose of the Abandoned Minor Child (AMC) calendar is to address whether a parent has failed to provide home, care or support, including food or clothes, for a child in a 30 day period.  The child must be younger than 18 years of age.

When the law refers to the non-custodial parent, it means the one who has the child less than 50% of the time. The custodial parent is the parent who has the child the majority of the time.

The custodial parent may come to court to apply for a warrant against the non-custodial parent for abandonment of the minor child. The Court will conduct a hearing on the application for the warrant. The Judge will hear testimony and take evidence from both sides to determine if evidence exists to issue the warrant. If the Judge finds that probable cause exists, a warrant may be issued at the hearing.

The following definitions will help you understand this type of case.

Minor Child: A child under the age of 18. For this case, it is the child of the parties. Children subject to this action may be conceived during or outside of a marriage.

Child Abandonment: Willful and voluntary failure to provide a minor child with sufficient home, care, or support, including food or clothes, leaving the child in a state of dependency or need. O.C.G.A § 19-10-01 et seq.

Child Support: Monthly payments made by the non-custodial parent to help the custodial parent cover the expenses of the child. These expenses include the cost for the support and maintenance of the child. The final amount will be determined by the child support guidelines. However, the Judge in court will provide an amount to pay until the final determination is made.

Paternity: The legal establishment of the identity of a child’s father. This may occur through DNA testing or voluntary acknowledgment, and includes a child born to married couple, father signing acknowledgment at birth or can be established through child support order. Paternity must be established before child support can be required.

What you need to know:

Before applying for a warrant, confirm that:

  • The child is under 18 years of age
  • The non-custodial parent has not provided the child with food, clothes, or shelter from the time you file the warrant, leaving the child in dependent status.
  • Whether an active child support case exists with the Georgia Department of Human Services
  • The best address for the non-custodial parent
  • The last time the non-custodial parent provided support (money, food, clothing, or shelter) to your child

For a step-by-step process if you are the custodial parent, click here.