South Carolina has its own child support regulations and laws just like every other state, but as of late 2018 the state has started to overhaul its system for child support. This means that those who are sending or receiving payments should be aware of these changes and how they may be personally affected. Employers who automatically take payments away from certain employees by garnishing their pay should also be mindful of the new regulations and ways to remain compliant.
Timeline and highlights
All counties in the state will be updated to this new system in a gradual manner between October of 2018 and August of 2019. You can check your county on the Department of Social Services website to get the exact date of the conversion in your area.
Some of the highlights of this new system include:
- A centralized system called the State Disbursement Unit that handles processing of all payments. New payment options such as credit cards and moneygram can send the amount due into this system for those who are paying support obligations.
- Those who are receiving support payments will also receive payments through the centralized disbursement unit, rather than through the clerk of courts. People affected by this change will receive notice through the mail.
- Employers will have their compliance with the new system monitored for accuracy and appropriate withholding. They will also be required to send their employees garnished income to the State Disbursement Unit rather than the clerk or any other agency.
The total amount of support that is paid or the guidelines for calculating the total support obligation will not change. Child support amounts are mainly based on the income of the non-custodial parent. The state even offers a convenient calculator to give a general idea (keep in mind that this is an estimate and not a legally binding amount) about support amounts. This is done to ensure that the child has adequate resources coming from both parents even though they are not together anymore and the child is generally only with one of them at a time. If you want these amounts modified, it usually requires a separate hearing with a strong argument for changes from your child support attorney.
How will this change impact new support cases or existing obligations?
Those who are about to, or currently are, going through custody disputes should find an experienced family lawyer to help during the transition period from the new system to the old. This will help ensure compliance with new regulations and other confusing issues such as income withholding that may become a problem. Penalties for late, mishandled, or missed child support payments can be severe, which makes the upfront expense of an attorney a valuable investment considering these other problems tend to become very costly.
Talk to a child support lawyer in your area
For any other questions about child support in Greenville and nearby parts of South Carolina, contact the Hayes Law Firm, LLC. Their attorneys have specialized in helping residents in Greenville and nearby areas navigate the local court system and solve their problems since 1993.