In South Carolina, the amount of child support you are obligated to pay is based on a number of different factors. One of the most important considerations when determining support is the amount of time that your children spend living with you. When your children live in your home, it is assumed you are paying for their needs at that time. As a result, your child support obligation can be reduced or even eliminated when the children live with you.
In some cases, your custody arrangement will change and your kids will begin to spend more time at your house. Your children may even move in with you full time when before they were living with their other parent. When your kids start spending more time under your care, you cannot just stop paying child support. You must go through the process of formally modifying child support. An experienced Charleston, SC divorce attorney can help with this process.
Modifying Child Support in South Carolina
Modifying child support in South Carolina is possible if your custody arrangement has been altered or if there is a material chance in circumstances and your original support obligation is no longer appropriate. You must petition the court in order to make a modification to the amount you have to pay. If you do not go through the formal process, then you could face contempt of court and enforcement actions such as wage garnishment.
If you wish to change your support order because your kids are spending more time with you, the first step in modifying child support will actually involve getting your custody arrangement legally changed. Even if both parents informally agree on the new living arrangements for the kids, you will still need to go to court. This not only makes it possible for support to be changed but it also protects you in case your spouse subsequently changes his or her mind about the time you are spending with the kids. If both parents agree, changing custody should be a simple process of petitioning the court.
Once your custody arrangement has been changed, modifying child support is easy because the formula used to determine support will reflect your new circumstances. The judge can make the changes to the support order when you go to court to have your custody agreement altered.
By formally changing the support order, you ensure that you are no longer legally obligated to pay more than the amount that is fair and reasonable. If your kids are living in your home and they were living with the other parent before, then you may now be entitled to receive support. The court will make this determination by considering the time the child spends with each parent under the new custody order.
Kuhn & Kuhn, LLC can help you with the process of modifying child support and changing your custody order. Call today to schedule a consultation with a Charleston, SC divorce attorney who can assist you with all of your legal matters related to kids and divorce.