The issue of child support can bring about a lot of contention. The parent being awarded child support can feel that the financial support that they are receiving is not enough and the parent paying child support money may end up feeling that they are being taken advantage of. There are parents that may prefer the other parent to prove that they are using the child support money assigned to them in the right way.
Despite the stages at which the parents of a minor are in during a child support case, a dispute can arise. They can have difficulties with child support when they are establishing child support for the first time if the previous order is being modified or during an attempt to enforce a child support order. If the issue escalates, even parents who seemed to be cooperative can focus on just the money instead of the children’s well-being.
As lawyers, we encounter parents that have a disagreement about child support where one parent is suspicious if child support is being spent properly. However, if as a parent you believe that there is a misuse of child support by the child support recipient and you are wondering ‘how do I know the child support is being spent properly’ you can consult a lawyer and ask for advice on child support.
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Child Support Obligations in South Carolina
After parents get divorced or legally separated the parent that spends more time with the child or children or the custodial parent will receive payment of child support. However, child support is not automatically paid to the custodial parent support should be established through the DCSS that is the division of child support services in South Carolina or a court order should be sorted out.
It is possible for parents to agree on the child support amount payments to be made. After agreeing on child support award it should be approved by a judge and it will then be turned into an official child support order. This way you will be able to file a claim for child support if the other party does not make payments.
When mediations fails and couples are unable to agree they hire a divorce lawyer to represent them in their divorce case and child custody proceedings. You can apply for support via the DCSS in South Carolina if you cannot afford an attorney. You would need to fill out an application for child support. Other functions of South Carolina’s DCSS include:
- Child support payment collection
- Finding the location of parents
- Establishment of paternity.
The contribution to child support that a non custodial parent will pay each month should be listed in an official child support order. The parent will have emancipation for child support until after the minor finishes high school or after they turn 18 years old. If there are other requirements or special circumstances included in the order there could be a continuation of child support.
What You Can Do If the Custodial Parent Is Financially Irresponsible
The custodial parent is the one who has more responsibility for caring for the children. They are can have legal custody or sole physical custody. For this reason, the child support obligor makes child support payments to the custodial parent. The payments made are meant to help with the expenses that come about as a result of raising children. The child care expenses include things like food, medical expenses, medical care, education, clothes, school supplies, extracurricular activities, and other necessities.
The parent that has sole custody of the child has the right to spend the child support funds in the best interest of the child or in the way that they see fit. Even so, the parent has the legal responsibility of using the funds appropriately. The custodial parent can be charged with neglect or child abuse if they spend the payments in a way that neither benefits or provides for the child.
Child support payments should be spent for the child’s expenses and not for the custodial parent’s own use. It is unfair to the child and the non-custodial parent making the payments if the funds are not in the benefit of the children.
The non-custodial parent may have to have the child support order modified in the custodial parent is being financially irresponsible and they are misusing child support funds. It is not easy since it may be a requirement for the parent to file for a neglect or abuse charge before moving forward. The payments can be modified if the courts deem the modification as justified and necessary.
The parent seeking for the modification has the burden of proof and they need to prove to the court and there have been an obvious change in the how finances are being spent and it is affecting the children’s standard of living. In doing this they will prove that the modification of the child support payments is necessary. The decisions made will be made based on the child’s best interest.
Can You Seek For a Change In Custody?
The non-custodial parent can seek to have custody orders modified as a result of the custodial parent’s irresponsibility. In court, the noncustodial parent can argue that the recipient parent is not caring for the child or children responsibly and that it would be in the kid’s best interest if there was a change in custody.
It is not easy to have a custody order modified. One of the reasons why is because the court ensures that the order that has been put in place is the best for the particular family and their situation. The noncustodial parent has to prove that the new order that they are proposing is better than the current custody arrangement and that the child’s emotional and physical needs will be met. Every state has criteria that they use to modify a custody arrangement order.
Here are some of the requirements needed for child support pursuant to petition a court hearing that is meant to change a child support decree/ child custody order;
- Papers should be served to the other parent/ have a family law attorney review the forms
- Filling out all the relevant court forms
- Getting a court date or mediation date depending on the option you choose
- Attending the child support hearing
Will an Attorney Help With My Custody and Child Support Issues?
If you want to change child support or child custody order it would be best to contact a knowledgeable and experienced child support lawyer within your locality. A local child support lawyer will help to review your case, be knowledgeable on child support law in your area, and advise on the best child support options as well as child custody strategies. You will need to prove the irresponsible behavior of the custodial parent, and what makes you best suited to take care of the child. Also, it is important for you to show a change in custody is necessary and will be in the child’s best interest due to the parent’s financial irresponsibility.
For you to have a chance at being successful you should hire a child custody attorney. A good child support attorney will give you information that will help give you better insight into your specific state child support guidelines. The experienced attorney will also give you advice on the best child support decision to take in regard to your child support matters. If need be the attorney will offer you legal representation in court. At Greenville Family attorneys we have child support attorneys that can answer all of your pressing child support issues questions including how you can get child support accountability for child support.