Child support proceedings can be confusing and frustrating. Whether you pay or receive child support, you should be treated fairly. However, that might not always be the case.
South Carolina law requires that each parent support their children. Working with an experienced family law attorney can help ensure your children are cared for even though you and your partner are no longer together.
Our Rock Hill child support lawyer at Minor Law Divorce Lawyers is an experienced family law attorney with nearly a decade of experience. The legal team at Minor Law Divorce Lawyers consists of highly trained, skilled, and driven legal professionals. We’ll protect your parental rights and the best interests of your children.
Contact Minor Law Divorce Lawyers or call (803) 504-0971 to schedule a consultation with our child support lawyer in Rock Hill, South Carolina. We are dedicated to helping you obtain a positive outcome for your case. We handle child support cases in York County.
How Minor Law Divorce Lawyers Can Help With Your Rock Hill Child Support Matter
Getting divorced or separated does not relieve you of your financial obligations to your children. South Carolina laws require parents to provide financial support for their children until they are emancipated. Child support helps ensure children have the education, healthcare, and basic necessities they need even though their parents are not together.
Attorney Donae A. Minor, our founding lawyer, is dedicated to assisting parents and families with all matters related to child support and child custody. Her experience and dedication to clients have resulted in numerous awards and recognition from national legal organizations. To name just one, she has earned a spot on the Top 40 Under 40 list by The National Black Lawyers.
As a skilled South Carolina family law attorney, Donae A. Minor possesses extensive knowledge of child support guidelines and laws. Her experience benefits our clients by helping to ensure their child support obligations are fair and reasonable.
When you hire our Rock Hill family lawyer, we will:
- Inform you of your rights under South Carolina child support laws
- Work with you to ensure the child support payments are accurate
- Investigate allegations that your child’s other parent is concealing income or resources to avoid paying their fair share of child support
- Identify issues that the court should consider when determining child support obligations
- Ensure that your income and deductions for child support calculations are correct
- Assist with modifications of child support payments or enforcement of child support
- Protect your interests during all court proceedings
South Carolina courts use child support guidelines to calculate the amount of support payments. However, issues arise that can complicate the calculations.
Call us today to schedule a case evaluation with an experienced child support lawyer in Rock Hill, SC. We are ready to assist you with your case.
Overview of Child Support in South Carolina
South Carolina family courts generally award child support when parents separate or divorce. The courts may also award child support even if the parents never married, as well as in paternity cases.
Typically, child support is paid to the custodial parent. The custodial parent has primary physical custody of the children. However, other factors can impact who receives child support and the amount of child support payments.
Child support payments usually stop when a child turns 18 years old. However, the payments can continue until the child is 19 years old or graduates high school. Child support payments end only in limited circumstances, such as if a child is emancipated before their 18th birthday.
The South Carolina Department of Social Services (DSS) is responsible for enforcing child support obligations. If your child support payments are paid through the court, you must send your payments to DSS instead of paying your child’s other parent directly. Wage garnishments for child support are also handled by DSS.
Calculating Child Support Obligations in Rock Hill, SC
South Carolina uses state Child Support Guidelines to calculate the amount of child support payments. The guidelines calculate the child support obligation based on the income of each parent. However, that is not the only factor that impacts how much a parent pays for child support.
Other factors used to calculate child support in Rock Hill include:
- The number of children being supported
- Support obligations for children from other relationships
- Alimony from a previous marriage
- The number of overnight visits the child spends with each parent
- Childcare, medical, dental, and education expenses
- Cost of health insurance
A judge may consider other factors when calculating child support, such as the standard of living and private tuition when the parents are high-wage-earners. Judges also consider a child’s special needs. The child support guidelines are the presumptive amount of support, but a judge can deviate from that amount for good cause.
Will I Have To Pay Child Support if I Share 50-50 Custody of My Child in Rock Hill, SC?
Judges may grant joint custody if the parents can work together and it is in the best interests of the child. However, even though you share joint custody, it does not mean you will have your child in your home precisely 50% of the time.
Generally, a child resides primarily with one parent for stability and continuity. The child may then only visit with the other parent on occasion. You may be required to pay child support in a joint custody arrangement even if your child lives with their other parent.
What Are the Penalties for Failing To Pay Child Support in South Carolina?
A parent can face several consequences for failing to pay child support payments in Rock Hill. If you do not pay your court-ordered child support as scheduled, you could face penalties including, but not limited to:
- Jail time and/or fines
- Contempt charges by the court
- Wage garnishment, including workers’ compensation and unemployment benefits
- Exclusion from certain government benefits
- Seizure of tax refunds
- Revocation of professional licenses
- Suspension of driver’s license
The court generally schedules hearing if you fall behind in your child support payments made through the court. You must appear to explain why you are behind in your child support payments and why the court should not hold you in contempt. A parent receiving direct child support payments can petition the court if the other parent falls behind in complying with their mandated requirements.
Can a Parent Deny Visitation for Failure To Pay Child Support?
Child visitation and support are separate matters. You cannot deny court-ordered visitation if your child’s parent does not pay their child support payments. If so, you could face contempt charges for failing to abide by a visitation and custody order.
Instead, contact our Rock Hill child support lawyers to discuss your options for enforcing child support payments. Depending on the circumstances, taking your ex back to court for child support arrears might be beneficial.
Can Child Support Payments Be Modified in South Carolina?
Child support could last almost two decades, depending on your child’s age when you went to court to obtain the original support order. Circumstances are likely to change during that time, which might make modifying the child support payments necessary.
Therefore, either parent can petition the family court to modify support obligations. However, the parent petitioning the court for a change must prove a substantial change in circumstances makes the current support order unworkable. Generally, the change in circumstances is one that the parties did not anticipate when the original order was entered.
Examples of changes in circumstances that could justify child support modification include, but are not limited to:
- A parent is fired or laid off through no fault of their own
- The birth or adoption of another child
- The child now resides with the payor instead of the recipient
- A parent is called to active military duty
- A parent becomes disabled because of an illness or injury
- A child becomes emancipated
- Either parent experiences a significant change in income
- The child’s needs change, such as the need for extensive medical treatment or special education
Getting remarried and choosing to become unemployed are generally not situations that would warrant modifying child support payments. Likewise, a child’s desire to pursue a costly extracurricular activity is not grounds for a court to modify child support. However, the parents could agree to share the cost outside of the support obligations.
A child support order is legally binding until modified by the court. Therefore, do not stop making your child support payments until the court enters a new child support order.
Additionally, child support modifications are not retroactive. Therefore, contact our Rock Hill child support attorneys as soon as possible to discuss modifying your child support payments if you have a substantial change in circumstances.
Schedule a Consultation With Our Rock Hill Child Support Lawyers
Child support is a complex issue. You want to ensure your child support obligations are correct. Contact us to schedule a case review with a Rock Hill child support attorney so we can help you obtain a satisfactory amount of child support.
Additional Divorce Resources
- SC Judicial Branch – Visit the official website of SC Judicial Branch
- South Carolina Superior Court Clerk’s Office – Court record storage and retrieval, information, and financial management for the judicial system and county government.
- South Carolina Family and Social Services – Read more about family and social services in South Carolina
Rock Hill, SC Therapists
- Thriveworks Counseling & Psychiatry Rock Hill – 1030 Riverwalk Parkway Suite 203, Rock Hill, SC 29730, United States
- Kennington Counseling – 1420 Ebenezer Rd Suite 101, Rock Hill, SC 29732, United States
- Dr. Lois Veronen, Ph.D. – 229 Johnston St, Rock Hill, SC 29730, United States
- Beacon of Hope Counseling, LLC – 1035 Oakland Ave, Rock Hill, SC 29732, United States
*Disclaimer – we do not endorse these companies or profit from having them listed on our website.