Are you a parent who is seeking a divorce? Or, are you already divorced or split with your children’s other parent? Either way, you are going to be dealing with child support – it’s the law and unless one parent loses or relinquishes their parental rights, both parents are legally obligated to financially support their children until they turn 18 or graduate high school, whichever happens later in South Carolina.
Child support can be a sensitive issue for families. The paying parent can feel the financial strain, while the receiving parent equally feels the strain if they do not receive their monthly support. If a paying parent fails to fulfill their obligations and they fall behind, the receiving parent has legal options to collect the past-due support, also known as arrears.
Child Support in South Carolina
Once child support is established through a court order from South Carolina’s Division of Child Support Services (DCSS), the paying parent must make their payments. Even if the custodial parent won’t allow the noncustodial parent to see the children, the noncustodial parent must continue making their child support payments. Addressing the child custody or visitation issue – is another matter that can be handled in court.
If the noncustodial parent’s income drops or they lose their job, they cannot stop paying their child support, nor can they reduce the amount without first getting a downward modification from the court. “What are the consequences of NOT paying child support?” If the paying parent gets far enough behind on their payments, they can face serious consequences, such as:
· Wage garnishment,
· Child support can be automatically deducted from unemployment,
· Child support can be automatically deducted from workers’ compensation,
· State and federal tax refunds can be seized or intercepted,
· Professional licenses can be revoked,
· Federal loans, farm loans, home loans and small business loans can be denied,
· The arrears will be reported to credit reporting agencies,
· A lien can be placed on the parent’s home or personal property,
· A U.S. passport can be denied if arrears go beyond the established threshold, and
· The paying parent’s driver’s license can be suspended.
Are you dealing with a child support issue? Whether you’re the paying or receiving parent, we can help. Our firm assists parents with child enforcement actions as well as child support modifications. To learn more, contact our firm to meet with a Columbia divorce attorney. We are on your side and here to help.