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Child support disputes divide families

When disputes involve matters concerning the care of someone's children, they can often become heated and drawn out. Most parents want the best for their child, but their opinions on what that is may differ from those of the other parent. One of the common causes of such disputes in South Carolina is child support. While a parent may be struggling to make ends meet because payments have been missed, they may still feel hesitant to pursue the matter in the courts.

This was exactly the feeling of one woman whose relationship with her son was jeopardized when she took his father to court over delinquent payments. He was $40,000 in arrears before she made the move. However, she didn't wish for him to be jailed. Ultimately, she needed him to be working so he could make the payments he owed.

Unfortunately, her son struggled to understand her need to involve the court. Many other parents fear a similar outcome, leaving them reluctant to seek a formal child support arrangement. Sadly, this means that many of them do not receive the money they are owed and that could be used to improve their child's lifestyle.

According to a Census Bureau report, in 2011 only 43 percent of parents received all the child support due to them. Over $14 billion worth went unpaid. However, if parents do not challenge delinquent payments, these figures may never improve.

If you have concerns about your child support arrangement, whether you are not receiving payments, or are struggling to keep up with what you owe, do not panic. An attorney can advise you about possible course of action. He or she may also be able to help you apply for a modification to your child support, or to pursue payments that you may be owed.

Source: The Boston Globe, "Family rift opens up over use of courts to get child support," Michelle Singletary, July 12, 2014

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