Child Support Attorney in Charleston, SC
Child support is a hugely important issue for anyone who has children with a former spouse, an ex-boyfriend or ex-girlfriend, or anyone with whom you are no longer involved. When child support is the only issue between the parties—such as when the parties were never married—support is handled through the South Carolina Department of Social Services (DSS). Many folks are able to resolve their child support issues without ever having to hire a lawyer.
My involvement with support issues usually comes as part of a divorce or separation, when there is more to the dispute than just how much child support should be paid by the non-custodial parent. There are times, however, when you may need a Charleston, SC family lawyer to represent you in a direct support case or support modification case. We may be able to investigate your ex-spouse’s finances more thoroughly than DSS has time to do, if needed.
Child support is determined pursuant to the South Carolina Child Support Guidelines, which are formulated through DSS pursuant to laws enacted by the South Carolina General Assembly. Basically, the relative incomes of the parents are the primary consideration. The custodial parent incurs childcare costs on a day-to-day basis, and the non-custodial parent needs to contribute. When the non-custodial parent is exercising his or her visitation rights, then he or she is the one incurring the daily expenses of the child’s care. The amount of visitation is factored into the equation.
Sometimes, circumstances change months or years after a child-support order has been entered by a Court. Have you lost your job or suffered an injury and cannot work? Has your ex-spouse enjoyed a substantial increase in income? Have you and your ex-spouse, in practice, deviated from the custody and visitation arrangement formally agreed to years ago to the extent that the child support amount is no longer fair? If there is a substantial change of circumstances, you may be entitled to an increase or decrease of the child support you have to pay or are entitled to receive.