Nearly six months after cases of COVID-19 caused closures of schools and businesses throughout the country, Aiken continues to face problems due to the pandemic. With South Carolina designated as a “hot spot” for the virus, residents are feeling the impacts both in their personal lives and in their financial situation. For parents who are divorced or otherwise no longer living together, the situation has the potential to affect their child custody and child support arrangements. The following details some of the ways COVID-19 continues to impact child custody and support in South Carolina, and how to deal with these impacts.
Child Custody Issues Caused By COVID-19
According to statistics from the South Carolina Department of Health and Environmental Control (DHEC), roughly 80,000 people have tested positive for COVID-19 throughout the state. As a result of increases in the number of cases, people are urged to wear masks and continue following social distancing guidelines. The start of the coming school year has been delayed until September and more changes are likely to occur over the coming weeks and months.
For parents who share custody of children, this can create numerous problems. These include:
Issues regarding visitation with the other parent, particularly if they or someone they know has tested positive for the virus
Problems with summer vacation plans and other activities, which could put your child at greater risk
Changes in your own or the other parent’s schedule, which could impact current custody and visitation arrangements that are currently in place
Concerns about the use of masks and social distancing while your child is in the other parent’s care
As a parent, the safety and well-being of your child are your top priority. Under the South Carolina Code, it is also the primary concern for judges in approving parenting plans and child custody agreements. If you feel current arrangements may put your child at risk, it is important to convey your concerns to the other parent. If they fail to respond appropriately, you may be entitled to request a modification of the original order.
Problems With Child Support Payments
Parents have a legal duty to provide for their children. Unfortunately, COVID-19 may also be impacting the amount of support you receive. South Carolina unemployment rates have reached all-time highs due to the pandemic, and with businesses either closed or operating under reduced circumstances, many are still struggling to make ends meet.
If you are dealing with late payments, partial payments, or a lack of child support as a result, there are legal options available. Once a child support order is in place, it can be enforced through the court. Options for receiving payments include:
Let Us Help You Today
COVID-19 continues to impact child custody and support in South Carolina. During these difficult times, the Surasky Law Firm, LLC is here to help protect your rights as a parent and ensure your children are provided for. Contact our Aiken child custody and support attorney to request a consultation today.