As the coronavirus pandemic continues to affect the nation, many families are facing the stark reality of unemployment and financial concerns. For many parents who pay or rely on child support, this can cause a great deal of stress and confusion.
Even famous Marvel movie actor Jeremy Renner appears to be feeling the sting, requesting a child support modification due to his own financial concerns.
Here at home, South Carolina Chief Justice Donald W. Beatty formally ordered the majority of courts closed from March 23, 2020 to May 1, 2020, stating, “IT IS ORDERED that until subsequent order by the Chief Justice, Family Courts statewide shall only hear emergency matters including, but not limited to hearings for the following matters: DSS Emergency Protective Custody, Juvenile Detention – including hearings for juveniles who are being held at evaluation centers, Bench Warrants, and Petitions for Orders of Protection from Domestic Abuse.”
What does this mean for you if you are a payer or recipient of child support? South Carolina modification of child support laws hinge on a substantial change in circumstances. Truly, in these times, layoffs, cut hours, and furloughs qualify.
The only way to lawfully reduce your child support payments is to have a court-ordered modification. It’s vital to have your attorney start this process as soon as possible, due to the court slowdown from the coronavirus pandemic. We can work to secure an emergency order if possible. Once your case is heard by the court, they can calculate a new, workable child support amount based on your current income. Remember that unemployment benefits count toward income.
Also note that individuals who owe back child support are not eligible for federal stimulus checks.
If you receive child support from your co-parent and are experiencing a loss of income, you also have the right to request a modification to receive more support for your child. As the custodian of your child, you are required to contribute financially to their expenses. If you lose your job, your child support order may need adjustment.
During this difficult time, Holland Law has not forgotten about your family. We are here to consult with about all matters of family law, including child support modifications and orders. Please don’t hesitate to contact us immediately so we can start working on your request immediately. To schedule a consultation in either our Fort Mill office on Gold Hill Road, or in our Rock Hill office on Oakland Avenue, please call 803-288-3885 or contact us online. We serve clients in the York, Lancaster, and Chester County communities.