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Stopping child support payments

Child support is generally meant to be paid until a child reaches the age of majority. However, there are times when South Carolina parents may want to stop receiving child support payments.

There are multiple reasons parents may request that child support payments stop and may file for a child support modification to do so. If the parents reconciled, there would be no reason for a parent to continue to receive the payments. The financial circumstances of the recipient parent may have improved, and he or she believes there is no need for the other parent to continue making payments. Also, if the financial situation of the parent paying the child support has worsened, the receiving parent may voluntarily release the other parent from the obligation.

Couple to continue fight for adopted daughter, age 3

On March 3, it was reported that a South Carolina couple pledged to continue to seek custody a 3-year-old child that they had adopted. The state Court of Appeals denied the couple's request for a rehearing and sided with the biological father.

The child tested positive for drugs when she was an infant. After her biological mother gave up her parental rights in 2015, the couple adopted her after fostering her since she was 3 weeks old.

Divorce and co-parenting in South Carolina

When South Carolina parents are facing the end of their marriage, they may wonder how they can make the process less difficult for their children. How the parents behave with one another and their children is critical. For example, parents should try not to argue in front of their children. They should try to answer their questions about the divorce in a way that reassures them, and they should try to be together when they first discuss it with their children.

Some months may be better than others for filing for divorce. For example, March has a long stretch of school days that parents can use to take care of many aspects of divorce without disrupting the children. Summer might also be a good time because when children are home from school, parents can spend more time preparing them for the transition.

The importance of receiving child support in South Carolina

It is quite common for a parent who does not live with their children to be required to pay child support. Child support can be essential to an individual who is raising children on their own. However, in many cases, child support payments are never or infrequently made.

Studies have shown that this can have a negative effect on children. Along with the obvious consequences of a lack of financial support, such as a parent struggling to buy clothing or food for kids, studies have also shown that academic results may be impaired by a lack of child support.

Family courts must consider fathers' rights

South Carolina unmarried fathers have certain rights. A man is automatically recognized as the baby's legal father with equivalent legal parental standing when he is named on the birth certificate. He is also more likely to pay child support. Fathers' rights focus on fairness. Fathers want an equal opportunity for a relationship with the child.

According to a study published in the journal Human Nature, paternity establishment begins at birth. The father should be named on the birth certificate. If the parents are married, the husband will usually be named. However, 40.6 percent of babies were born to unmarried mothers in 2013. It is important for the mother to name the father on the birth certificate and for the father to sign an Acknowledgement of Paternity when they are not married.

Reaching a decision about frozen embryos during a divorce

Couples in South Carolina who have IVF treatments may not think about what may become of their embryos if they divorce. Usually, facilities have couples sign a contract that specifies whether they want their embryos donated or destroyed in the case of divorce. Keeping the embryos frozen may be another option. However, these contracts might not be legally enforceable.

If a couple cannot agree on the fate of their embryos, it could result in a long court case. Estranged couples need to keep up with their payments to the storage facility so the embryos they're fighting over don't end up being destroyed.

Obama child support rule left alone by Trump

A rule that took effect just before former President Barack Obama left office has so far been left unchanged by President Donald Trump. The law would require South Carolina and other states to set realistic child support levels for noncustodial parents who are in jail or who live in poverty. The goal is to ensure that noncustodial parents don't accumulate debt that they can't afford, which could trigger a cycle of incarceration.

This rule was one of more than 600 that were passed in Obama's final month in office. According to the Supreme Court, courts must first inquire about a parent's ability to pay support before finding them in civil contempt or putting them in jail for nonpayment. Failure to do so was found to be a violation of that person's right to due process.

Dealing with the family home when a divorce occurs

If a South Carolina couple is considering divorce, they may be wondering what will happen to the family home. Because people often have an emotional connection to their home, especially if they built it themselves or raised their children there, it can be very difficult to make a rational decision that makes sense when post-divorce finances are taken into consideration.

The first decision that has to be made is whether or not a person wants to stay in the home. For example, if the home is comfortable place that provides emotional security and is close to work, a person may want to retain ownership of the home. If the home evokes unpleasant memories and a person wants to make a new start somewhere else, selling the home will be a priority.

Learn more about past due child support payments

South Carolina custodial parents may be entitled to missed child support payments even after the child turns 18 or is otherwise emancipated. Therefore, a noncustodial parent is obligated to pay any support that is in arrears until that past due balance is paid off. To ensure that a past due balance is paid, the government may suspend professional licenses, garnish wages or seize tax refunds.

Those who are behind in their child support generally cannot have the debt discharged in bankruptcy. In extreme cases, a parent who owes back child support may be sent to jail. However, there may be a statue of limitations as it relates to how long a parent can collect past due balances. Therefore, it may be necessary to have an order renewed to ensure that those past due payments are made.

Prioritizing children in a divorce

South Carolina parents who are divorcing need to make sure that they put their children first. This may also mean giving each other the benefit of the doubt even when one believes that the other parent does not deserve it. For example, rather than assuming that an ex-spouse is irresponsible by not adhering to a time schedule, a parent should assume there is a good reason for the tardiness. Parents also need to keep their own emotions in check around the children and avoid venting or saying negative things about each other in front of the child.

Effective co-parenting is important because in most cases, children still need to have a relationship with both parents. A written parenting plan can help reduce conflict. Items to consider for the plan include grandparent visitation, schooling, health care, how much contact children will have with new partners and setting aside a time to discuss any additional problems that might arise. Over time, the agreement might need to be altered.