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License Suspensions for Failure to Pay Child Support


If you’re new to the divorce process, or if you’ve never had an issue with child support until now, you’ll be interested in what we have to say. All 50 states have laws in place that suspend, restrict, or revoke various licenses for the failure to pay child support.

Most people are fully aware that their driver license can be suspended if they are convicted of driving under the influence (DUI) or if they have too many moving violations, but the failure to pay child support? A lot of parents don’t realize it until it’s too late.

In most states, including South Carolina, if you fall behind on your child support payments, your driver license isn’t the only license that can be affected. Other licenses, such as occupational licenses, business licenses, professional licenses (e.g. real estate licenses, nursing licenses, and notary licenses etc.), and recreational licenses (think hunting and fishing) can be affected.

Criteria for License Suspensions

Each state has its own criteria in regards to the amount of arrears that triggers license suspensions. Meaning, the amount of child support the non-custodial parent must owe before their licenses are targeted and suspended as an enforcement effort. Once the threshold is met, due process procedures go into effect before the parent’s licenses are suspended.

For example, a notice will be mailed to the delinquent parent and he or she will be given the opportunity to get current on the arrears, or come up with a satisfactory payment plan with their local child support agency. Delinquent parents are also given the opportunity to request a hearing to object to the allegations of delinquent support.

What is the Law in South Carolina?

In South Carolina, once the obligor owes $500 in arrears and he or she has not paid support in 60 days, it triggers the license suspension process. At this point, the noncustodial parent has 45 days to enter into a payment agreement with their local child support agency.

Which licenses can be suspended for arrears?

  • Driver licenses
  • Occupational licenses
  • Professional licenses
  • Recreational licenses

Can’t afford to pay your arrears in full? In that case, it may be possible for you to obtain a route-restricted driver license that allows you to travel to and from work. To fully explore your legal options (and solutions), contact our Columbia, SC divorce firm today.

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