Do you need help with a child support matter in York County, SC? Whether you’re going through a custody battle or need to enforce or modify a child support order, Minor Law Divorce Lawyers can help.
Our experienced York County child support lawyer will answer your questions and explain your legal rights and obligations. If you choose our law firm for representation, we’ll protect your child’s best interests and work towards an equitable resolution.
Contact our office at (803) 504-0971 or contact us online. You can schedule a confidential consultation to discuss your child support issue with a skilled family law attorney in York County, South Carolina.
How Can Minor Law Divorce Lawyers Help With My Child Support Case in York County, SC?
You might be going through a divorce and trying to determine child support obligations. Or, you may be wondering if you can modify a South Carolina child support order. Worse yet, your child’s other parent may be falling behind on payments, causing financial strain.
Whatever the situation, it’s best to seek legal advice and guidance from a York County family lawyer. At Minor Law Divorce Lawyers, we know South Carolina law and how to efficiently navigate the York County family court system.
If you hire us for help with your child support case, we’ll:
- Listen to your story and what you hope to accomplish
- Explain your legal rights and obligations under South Carolina family law
- Ensure that the best interests of your child are always the primary consideration
- Help you and your child’s other parent reach a fair agreement with as little court intervention as possible
- Draft and file all documents and represent you in all court proceedings
Want to learn more about an attorney-client relationship? Contact our child support attorney in York County, SC, and we’ll explain how we can assist you.
What Is Child Support?
Parents have a legal duty to raise their children, financially support them, and ensure they receive access to education and healthcare services. These obligations don’t end just because parents separate or divorce.
Additionally, if paternity is later established, the court will issue an order outlining child support obligations.
In South Carolina, courts grant child support to provide for a child’s needs and maintain the same standard of living they would have if their parents were together.
The noncustodial parent typically pays child support to the custodial parent – or the person the child lives with for all or most of the time. However, other factors and parenting plans (e.g., joint custody) can impact who receives support payments.
How Long Do Child Support Payments Last in South Carolina?
Once ordered to pay child support, the obligation lasts until:
- The child turns 18 or graduates from high school (or the end of the school year after the child turns 19);
- The child marries; or
- The child becomes self-supporting.
However, the parties can agree to something different. For example, a child support order may require a parent to make payments until the child graduates from college. Or, the obligation may be extended due to exceptional circumstances, such as a child with mental or physical disabilities.
Note that a child support responsibility doesn’t automatically end. You must petition the court to dismiss the child support order. You’ll include documentation – such as the child’s birth certificate, proof of graduation, or marriage license – proving that the child is 18 or emancipated.
You must wait until the court formally terminates your support obligation before you stop making payments.
How Do South Carolina Courts Determine Child Support Obligations?
The parties can mutually agree on child support if they’re represented by an attorney and/or fully understand their agreement. However, if they don’t reach an agreement, courts use the South Carolina Child Support Guidelines to determine child support payment obligations. The presumption is that child support awarded using these guidelines is the correct amount.
However, a court may deviate from the guidelines if a party can prove that following them would result in an inappropriate or unfair outcome. The court must make specific findings and include a written justification as to why they’re deviating from the guidelines.
What Factors Are Considered When Calculating Child Support Payments?
The SC Child Support Guidelines account for the following:
- Each parent’s income (or potential income if they’re underemployed or unemployed)
- Any alimony award from the current or prior actions
- Any existing child support orders from another marriage
- Any other dependent children in each parent’s home
- Health insurance premiums and medical needs
- Childcare costs, such as daycare
- The number of days the child spends overnight with each parent
- Any other expenses for the child, such as costs of education and extracurricular activities
Again, a judge can deviate from the guidelines if the parties agree, or following them would be inappropriate. For example, if one parent makes significantly less money than the other, it may not be feasible for them to pay child support.
The court will determine a final support obligation and issue their order based on it.
Can a Child Support Order Be Modified in York County, SC?
Child support could last for many years, depending on your child’s age. Circumstances may change during that time frame and require an increase or decrease in child support payments.
Either parent can petition the family court to modify support obligations. The parent must prove that a substantial change in circumstances has occurred that warrants a modification to the payment. This change in circumstances is typically one that the parents did not anticipate at the time of the original child support order.
Examples of changes in circumstances that could lead to a modification include:
- The child’s needs have changed (e.g., medical needs or special education needs)
- A parent is terminated or laid off from their job
- A parent suffers a disability due to injury or illness
- A parent experiences a significant change in income
- The birth or adoption of another child
- The child now resides with the parent ordered to pay the child support
- A child becomes emancipated
- A parent is called to active military duty
A child support order is legally binding. Therefore, you should not stop making your child support payments until the court modifies the original order. Contact our York County child support attorney to learn more about the process for modifying your child support payments after a substantial change in circumstances.
What Happens If a Parent Doesn’t Pay Child Support in York County?
A failure to pay child support can have serious consequences.
If a parent neglects to pay court-ordered child support, they could face the following penalties:
- Jail time and/or fines
- Restrictions on obtaining certain government benefits
- Wage garnishment
- Seizure of tax refunds
- Suspension of driver’s license
- Revocation of professional licenses
- Contempt of court charges
A parent who is supposed to receive direct child support payments can petition the court to compel the other parent to pay the mandated child support payments.
Schedule a Confidential Consultation With an Experienced Child Support Lawyer in York County, SC
Child support issues can be complex. However, you want to ensure that your child receives an adequate amount consistent with their needs. You also want to make sure the child’s other parent pays their fair share.
Contact Minor Law Divorce Lawyers to schedule a consultation with a York County child support attorney. We can help you understand your rights to child support payments.
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
York County, SC Therapists
- Connections Family Therapy – 128 N Congress St Suite E, York, SC 29745, United States
- Palmetto Counseling & Consulting Services, LLC – 1721 Ebenezer Rd Suite #225, Rock Hill, SC 29732, United States
- Carolina Counseling Center – 1721 Ebenezer Rd # 215, Rock Hill, SC 29732, United States
- Integrative Counseling Services, LLC – 150 Oakland Ave Suite 200, Rock Hill, SC 29730, United States
*Disclaimer – we do not endorse these companies or profit from having them listed on our website.