Raising children is expensive, regardless of the time of year. With them being out of school over the summer months, it can put extra pressure on parents. Day trips to amusement parks, summer camps, and other recreation expenses can all stretch your finances. Add these to the additional day care you may need while you work and it can completely wreak havoc with your budget. If you are not receiving court ordered child support or are getting less than what you think you deserve, it may be time to take another look at this important issue.
Establishing Paternity and Obtaining an Order for Child Support
If you are not getting child support or are receiving payments on a sporadic basis, it may be time to take the other parent to court. For those who are unmarried, this often involves initiating paternity proceedings. The South Carolina Department of Social Services (DSS) advises that in addition to making sure this obligation is paid, there are numerous other benefits involved with proving paternity. These include:
It can make it easier to obtain important medical information about the father
It may entitle your child to health insurance
It allows collection of benefits through Social Security or the Veteran’s Administration
It gives your child inheritance rights, in the event of the father’s passing
Proving paternity is a process that begins with everyone submitting to testing in court. The father will be summoned through a court order and will be subject to a mouth swab, which detects DNA. if the court determines he is a match, a court order for child support will be issued. If payments are not made, it is legally enforceable. Actions the court may take include garnishing wages and seizing funds in bank accounts. The father could be subject to immediate arrest and suspension of their professional or driver’s license until the debt is paid.
Modifying an Existing Child Support Order
If you already have a child support order in place either through a divorce or prior paternity proceedings, you may be able to get an increase in the amount paid through a child support modification. Under South Carolina Court guidelines, a modification order may be requested in the following situations:
If the other party has experienced a significant increase in income since the existing order was issued
If you have experienced a significant drop in income or added expenses
If your child’s needs have significantly changed, requiring additional funds to cover these costs
If you have reason to suspect the other parent hid assets in the prior court proceedings
Get Legal Help Today
At the Surasky Law Firm, LLC., we can help you get the child support you are entitled to or make changes to an existing order so that you can better provide for your family. Once the order is place, we can also help in making sure it is enforced. To discuss the options in your particular case, contact our Aiken child support attorney today.