When you have a child, and you are trying to support that child on a single income, it can be hard to make ends meet. In some cases, it might be absolutely critical for you to obtain a child support order so that your child’s other parent can be held legally responsible to provide financial support for your child. When you need to obtain a child support order, you should consult with an experienced South Carolina child support lawyer on how you should go about obtaining the child support you need.
In South Carolina, when you need to obtain child support from your child’s other parent, you have two way of approaching the matter: you can either obtain a court order from a judge mandating your child’s other parent pay child support, or you can request an administrative order, which is obtained from a state administrative agency. In South Carolina, this agency is the Child Support Enforcement Division of the Department of Social Services, under S.C. Code Ann. Section 63-17-710. Both are legally enforceable means for getting the child support you and your child need.
When To Use Which Process: Judicial or Administrative
Which legal process you use to obtain your child support order often depends on the circumstances for obtaining the child support in the first place.
- When To Use the Judicial Process. In cases where child support or some other family law issue is disputed or contested, it is best to go through the courts. A judge can impartially make decisions concerning your family law matters, and can apply the South Carolina Child Support Guidelines when determining the child support obligation. A typical scenario is as follows: a couple going through a contested divorce also has to deal with the issue of child support. The judge overseeing the divorce case will also decide the issue of child support as a tangential issue in the divorce proceeding. Child support does not have to be mingled with other family law issues for it to be decided by a judge – the issue of child support can be brought as its own independent court action, if it is the only issue that needs to be addressed.
- When To Use the Administrative Process. Obtaining a child support administrative order through the Child Support Enforcement Division of the Department of Social Services is commonly used when there are no other family law issues that need to be dealt with. Unmarried parents who are living separately often use administrative procedure to obtain child support orders, as do single parents (often mothers) who need to establish paternity so that the other parent can be ordered to pay child support.
When You Need A Charleston Child Support Attorney
It is important that your child is financially provided for and sometimes a court order or an administrative order is the way to go about getting child support payments from your child’s other parent. If you need assistance obtaining a child support order, you should reach out to a South Carolina family law attorney like those at McCoy & Stokes. Contact us today and see how we can help you.