Raising children on your own is hard. If you are an unmarried parent or going through a divorce, meeting the daily costs and periodic expenses associated with raising a family can prove difficult, if not impossible, on only one income. Getting an order for child support is important. If you do not have an existing order in place, make it a priority to get one in the new year. If you do have an order, yet the other parent continues to not pay, we can assist you in getting it enforced.
Establishing a Child Support Order
Under the South Carolina Code of Laws, issues related to child custody and support will generally be resolved as part of your divorce proceedings. Even if you have not yet filed for a divorce from your spouse, you may still petition the court for a child support order.
If you are an unmarried parent, you will generally have to go through paternity proceedings to get this type of order in place. This will involve paternity testing, showing the other parent is indeed the father of the child, Once this is established, the court will then look at state guidelines and each party’s finances to determine the amount that is appropriate. This will likely include:
Daily expenses in raising the child
The cost for tuition, books, and other school related expenses
Health care coverage, including money for dental or vision benefits and prescription or over the counter medications the child requires
Additional costs, such as those involving intramural activities and recreational expenses
In some situations, parents may opt to rely on mutual agreements rather than having the court dictate an amount. Major drawbacks in choosing this option include the fact that you may not get the total amount you would otherwise be entitled to through a court order and that there is no way to enforce payments if the other parent eventually refuses to cooperate.
Child Support Enforcement In South Carolina
Once a child support order is in place through the South Carolina court, it can then be legally enforced in the event the other parent falls behind or stops payments. Failing to comply with the terms of a court order could result in contempt of court charges, which could cause a bench warrant to be issued through the Attorney General’s office.
In addition to being subject to arrest and incarceration until payment arrangements are made, other penalties associated with non-payment of child support include:
Suspension of driver’s license and vehicle registration
Loss of business licenses and permits
Liens placed on bank accounts
Withholding of income tax refunds and government benefits
Reach Out to Us Today for Help
Parents have a legal responsibility to provide for their children in South Carolina. Contact Surasky Law Firm, LLC to discuss your options for getting or enforcing a child support order in your case.