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What are the consequences for unpaid child support in SC?

South Carolina, like other states, takes unpaid child support very seriously. People in the 1980s and 1990s grew concerned about the number of fathers who lived a comfortable life yet cared little about their suffering children. This led to the implementation of new policies in South Carolina, including automatic deductions from the parent's paycheck.

Currently in South Carolina, authorities can employ the following penalties against a parent who has missed multiple child support payments:

  • Automatically deduct pay.
  • Require the parent to participate in parenting classes, such as Father to Father.
  • Revoke driver's license.
  • Issue an arrest warrant.
  • Enforce jail time.

In April 2015, the NY Times released info from a study conducted extensively on fathers in South Carolina who neglected their child support payments. It discovered that 1 in 8 inmates sat in jail due to unpaid child support. One father paid child support through automatic paycheck deductions, but it didn't cover the full amount he owed, and he was sent to jail for the debt he owed. Another man even died from being shot in the back while trying to run from police. It was speculated that he didn't want to go to jail for unpaid child support.

Unpaid child support can be a burden to those who can't afford it, but there are also many parents who run from it because they do not want to pay. Sit down with your child's other parent and negotiate a plan for child support. If this doesn't work and you need to establish court-ordered child support, or wish to modify the existing amount, you may benefit from legal help. In South Carolina, law enforcement has proven to support parents who are owed court-ordered child support. You must think about your child's needs as you decide what steps to take.

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