One of the most frequent concerns expressed by individuals going through a Family Court action involving children is how they will be able to afford to pay for the many expenses involved with raising and supporting a child. Whether the parents were married or not, the Family Court has the ability to address these concerns. It is not necessary to wait until a divorce is granted to address this important issue.
Child support is normally calculated based on a uniform set of guidelines known as the South Carolina Department of Social Services Child Support Guidelines. The Family Court can, however, deviate from these guidelines in certain cases. Generally, the amount of child support is based on the gross incomes of each parent, any other support obligations owed by either parent, the number of other children in the home, the cost of health insurance for the minor child, and childcare expenses. In some cases, calculation of child support is uncontested while the calculation in other cases is highly disputed. Generally, self-employed individuals are more problematic as their reported income will include deductions for expenses not allowed to wage-earners. Our attorneys will work with you to assess your situation and vigorously pursue a child support amount which will fairly represent the needs and expenses of your minor child.
As with other areas involving children, the issue of child support remains active until a child is emancipated. If a parent is failing to follow a court order to pay child support, a Rule to Show Cause may result, which asks to hold that parent in contempt of court for disobeying that order. If a party is held in contempt, fines, penalties and even jail time can result. Our attorneys have worked on all sides of Rule to Show Cause actions, and are comfortable whether a case requires an aggressive approach or a more subtle touch for successful resolution. If you are involved in a child support issue, we urge you to contact an family law attorney immediately, as delays can cause great difficulty in achieving your goals.