Child Support Advocates in Anderson, SC
If a pair of Anderson, SC parents aren’t living together, either can request support form the other. A South Carolina family court will decide child support in the case of divorce, or the separation of unmarried parents. Additionally, child support could be required to be paid by parents if their child is in the care of a third party like grandparents or other relatives
How Child Support Is Calculated in South Carolina
In South Carolina, child support is determined using the South Carolina child support guidelines. The latest addition, adopted in 2014, defines the amounts used to calculate child support. There is a free child support calculator on the South Carolina Department of Social Services website and you can enter your information to obtain an estimate you might have to pay or the amount of child support you’ll have to receive.
Once you have completed the worksheets, you can use the South Carolina Child Support calculator that will help you figure out the base amount of your child support.
The law firm of Thomason & Pracht, LLC, advises that the amount of child support the calculator says you may have to pay is not a guarantee and that the courts could adjust this amount.
An Anderson, SC family court always retains discretion to change child support payments based on the facts of each case.
South Carolina Child Support Obligation Worksheets
The state of South Carolina has three different worksheets, and it depends on your situation as to which worksheet you use.
- Sole Custody: You would use Worksheet A if your child lives with either you or the other child’s parent most of the time.
- Split Custody: You would use Worksheet B if you have more than one child and at least one kid lives primarily with each parent.
- Shared Parenting: You would use Worksheet C if the children spend more than 110 overnights with either parent.
Challenging Child Support Orders in South Carolina
Sometimes the guidelines and the way the support is divided can be unfair to one of the parents or the child. Before the judge issues a final order of child support, you or the other parent can request that the court adjust the amount of child support, called, “deviating from the guidelines.” When this happens, the court will review certain factors to determine what amount of child support should be paid.
- Educational expenses for the child or one of the parents
- How the property was divided if there was a divorce
- The debts of both parties
- If there are more than 6 children that need child support
- Extraordinary dental and/or medical expenses for the child that are unreimbursed
- Deductions for retirement pensions and union fees (these are mandatory)
- Whether you or the other parent is supporting other children
- Fixed payments that occur monthly that were imposed by the court
- Whether the child has any income
- If the parent who doesn’t have custody’s income is a lot less than the parent who does have custody
- An agreement by you and the other parent that is in the best interest of the child
However, the lawyers at Thomason and Pracht, LLC acknowledge a deviation from guidelines of child support calculations are very rare.
Modifying Child Support in South Carolina
In South Carolina, either parent can request a change in child support, if there has been a substantial change in circumstances since it was last calculated and orders by the court. The court would consider the following factors:
- Losing a job
- A medical condition or disability that may hinder your ability to work
- If the child gets married or enlists in the military.
- If the child has turned 18 and has graduated from high school.
The lawyers and Thomason and Pracht, LLC would caution you to consider all factors before trying to modify your child support payments. If it has been many years since the original calculation, it is possible to be ordered to pay more support for one child currently than may have been ordered for two children previously.
Many times, clients will come to use following the graduation of their oldest child and look to reduce their pay. But with the payment amounts and guidelines changing 10 years ago, one could wind up paying more for one child than with two.
Unmarried Parents and the Issue of Child Support in South Carolina
If you and the other parent were never married, it can be difficult for a non-wed father to navigate the legal system in South Carolina when they want to play an important part in your child’s life.
If you’re an unmarried father, it could be that you aren’t named on the birth certificate. Also, unmarried fathers don’t have any rights to visitation or custody, as well as any say in how the child is educated, any medical treatment, or religious upbringing. In addition, you may not even be notified if your child is placed for adoption.
Unmarried Mothers Rights in South Carolina
Unmarried mothers may seek extra support through the child support services at a very reduced rate if the mother utilizes this system. The only determination will be the father’s obligation and the amount of the father's support. Visitation and other issues are not determined through this process.
Unmarried Fathers Rights in South Carolina
It is very important for unwed fathers to assert their legal rights as soon as possible. under sc law, men who father children with women to whom they aren’t married have very little rights unless paternity is determined through a court order.
Likewise, any man who is unsure of whether they are a father of a child may request genetic testing. In almost all cases genetic testing will be allowed but will typically be at the man’s expense.
The first step to being part of your child’s life if you’re an unwed father is to determine paternity If the mother of your child won’t agree to a paternity test, you may have to have your attorney file documents with the court in order to have a South Carolina judge ordered a paternity test. You may also voluntarily acknowledge that you are the father in writing.
Why You Need an Attorney in Your Anderson, South Carolina Child Support Case
Family law, like in most other states, is complex in South Carolina. The attorneys at Thomason & Pracht, LLC., recommend that if you find yourself in a situation where child support needs to be modified or determined, or in the case of an unwed father whose rights are being interfered with, you should see the advice of a qualified attorney.
An Anderson, SC Family Law Attorney can help you navigate the legal system, advocate for you, file the necessary documents in court, appear in court with you to present your case, and ensure that your rights are protected.