When a noncustodial parent is late on making child support payments in South Carolina, one of the most serious consequences that he or she can face is jail time. Overdue child support payments are reviewed monthly, and a payment that is as little as five days late could give the recipient parent the grounds needed to ask the court to enforce payment of the overdue child support.
Unpaid Child Support Can Lead To A Contempt Hearings
There are very strict rules concerning domestic obligations in South Carolina, especially when the obligation is child support. In South Carolina, a parent who has failed to pay his or her child support obligation can face charges of contempt of court for violating a court order mandating the payment of child support. It is estimated that approximately one out of every six to eight individuals in jail are there because of they were found in contempt for violating a family law order, with the majority of these being for failing to pay child support.
If you are late on your child support payments, it is important to make every effort to pay at least something. Paying something is viewed in a better light than not paying anything at all. It is also important to obtain the help of an experienced child support attorney to help manage the situation.
Lack of legal representation is one of the leading factors contributing to why parents who are behind on their child support payments end up in jail. Of those parents facing contempt of court charges for overdue child support payments, nearly 98 percent lacked legal representation, resulting in 95 percent of those ending up with jail time. You are not required to have a lawyer when you are facing contempt of court charges, and the fees associated with hiring a lawyer might seem expensive, but hiring an experienced family law attorney may be the best means to stay out of jail if you owe back child support.
Steps to Improve Your Situation
Parents who are facing contempt of court charges for overdue child support might be scared and embarrassed by their situation. The idea of jail time maybe terrifying and overwhelming; however, your overdue child support is an issue that needs to be addressed.
You could potentially avoid jail time if you are responsive and act quickly. By taking steps towards addressing your overdue child support, you can show the court that you are taking the matter seriously. A child support lawyer could help by advising you on ways to mitigate your situation, and could help you come up with a plan for paying your child support.
Contact a Charleston Family Law Attorney Today
South Carolina takes the payment of child support and other domestic obligations very seriously. Failure to pay your child support on time can leave you facing contempt of court charges and potential jail time. A South Carolina child support lawyer can help you resolve your family law issues and could help you avoid jail. You can contact the experienced professionals at McCoy & Stokes today.