At the David W. Martin Law Group, our child support attorneys in Rock Hill know that when South Carolina parents pursue a divorce, they still have an obligation to physically, financially, and emotionally support and protect their children.
Those obligations are not reserved for just those who were married. Many people have children together without tying the knot. And like married and divorced parents, if they choose to go their separate ways, child custody and child support are two of the biggest legal challenges they face going forward.
Whether you were married to your children’s other parent, were in a short or lengthy relationship with him or her, or are trying to establish your rights as a father to begin pursuing visitation and paying child support, our York County family law attorneys can help provide the legal direction you need to make informed decisions about the direction of your case.
How is Child Support Determined in Rock Hill, South Carolina?
There are several ways parents can negotiate child support payments in Rock Hill.
But before a monthly dollar amount can be established, the parents must — either privately, through mediation, or litigation inside the courtroom — decide on a custody agreement.
The York County Family Court would like both parents to be involved in raising their children, and will strive to equitably share their time between households when family dynamics allow.
Once child custody is established, the South Carolina Child Support Guidelines provide a starting point for a legally enforceable payment plan for the children’s healthcare, education, housing, and physical needs.
That figure will differ for each family, but will include factors like:
- Number of minor children the parents share.
- Gross income of both parents.
- Childcare and education requirements.
- Alimony payments assessed during the divorce, when applicable.
- Healthcare and insurance expenses.
- Any special needs or extraordinary medical expenses the children might have.
The South Carolina Department of Social Services provides access to a child support calculator, which may be used to assess a rough estimate of a parent’s payments. Before you take the website’s word for it, contact our skilled child support attorney in Rock Hill to learn more about your legal rights and options, so you are getting a fair valuation of your finances and your children’s needs inside and outside the courtroom.
Can My Spouse and I Decide on Child Support Payment Amounts While We Are Separated in Rock Hill, South Carolina?
Yes. Since there is a mandatory waiting period for divorce in South Carolina, parents may decide on property division, child custody, alimony, and child support matters on their own, during mediation, or through a legally binding separation agreement.
Separation agreements can, and often do, supply the framework for final divorce decisions, so the couple is ready to move forward with their proceedings the moment the one-year waiting period expires.
Can One Parent Ask the South Carolina Family Court to Raise or Lower the Child Support Amount?
Yes. But only when there is good reason to do so. That can include petitioning the court for higher child support payments when the children’s needs change significantly enough to warrant a rise in the amount. Conversely, one parent may pursue a lesser payment amount if he or she suffers from a medical condition, injury, or disability and is unable to work, loses their job, if their financial standing changes substantially enough to ask for a reduction, or if he or she obtains the larger share of custody.
What Happens if I Fail to Pay Child Support in South Carolina?
When one parent is ordered to pay child support in South Carolina and fails to do so, he or she can be held in contempt of court. If the court finds the non-paying parent in contempt, you could be sentenced to up to a year in jail, up to a $1,500 fine, ordered to perform community service, or a combination thereof.
Contact Our Experienced Child Support Attorneys in Rock Hill, South Carolina Today
No matter which side of the child support payment you are on, our skilled family law attorneys in Rock Hill will outline your case with precision, so you can seek the best outcome available for your circumstances. Contact our experienced Rock Hill child support lawyers by calling (803) 985-9200 or contacting us online to discuss your unique legal needs.