Divorce can be a stressful time that causes fear and anxiety, especially for those families who have children. If you are a custodial parent who has physical custody and needs assistance in obtaining child support payments or a non-custodial parent who is looking to establish paternity then you can apply for services through the Integrated Child Support Services Division (ICSSD) in South Carolina. The following guideline is intended for both custodial and non-custodial parents to better explain the process of receiving child support services. If you are currently receiving funding from the Temporary Assistance for Needy Families (TANF) program then you can automatically receive services from ICSSD in South Carolina; however, if you are not receiving TANF then you can fill out an application form in-person or online.
How do I get a child support order?
Once you have filed for child support services you can schedule a negotiation conference or court hearing to establish child support. You may or may not be required to attend the conference or negotiation depending on the place of residence of the non-custodial parent. For example, if both you and the non-custodial parent live in South Carolina then you will be required to attend the conference or hearing. If the non-custodial parent lives out of state and the hearing is scheduled out-of-state, then you are not required to attend the hearing. After you have filed to obtain child support, the non-custodial parent will be served with a notice and you should start receiving funds within less than three months unless the non-custodial parent lives out of state.
How is paternity established?
In the case that the father and the mother of a child were not married at the time of birth, then the court may order the father to establish paternity. If the father does not voluntarily admit that he is the parent of the child then a paternity test will be required in order to examine the genetic markers of the child. The paternity test will help to determine whether the father is or is not responsible to pay for child support. The father must pay for the paternity test; unless it is determined that he is not the father of the child. In this case, the cost of the paternity test falls on the custodial parent and he is not required to pay child support.
How much child support will be ordered and for how long?
The amount of child support you receive is determined by the South Carolina Child Support Guidelines, which takes into account the income and assets of both the custodial and non-custodial parent. Day care and health insurance costs are also considered in addition to the resources each parent brings to the table. Every three years, either the custodial or noncustodial parent can request that the amount received is reviewed by the ICSSD. After a review, the court can order an increase or decrease in the amount of child support that is required.
If you have questions concerning child custody or child support in South Carolina, you can get in touch with a Charleston custody lawyer to set up a consultation. You can contact Sarji Family Law by calling 843-323-4341 or by filling out an online form.