Charleston Child Support Lawyer: Late Child Support
One of the most common assumptions, heard everywhere and often, is that there is a “5-day grace period” for the payment of child support or alimony. Perhaps this mis-understanding evolves from mortgage payments, where statements for your payments usually do show a “due date” and a “late after” date, with an added late charge if you miss that “late after” date. In Family Court, however, any such assumption is incorrect, and could easily land you in trouble.
If you have any sort of a Family Court Order which directs you to pay child support or alimony on a particular date, whether that is the first of the month, the fifteenth of the month, or otherwise, that is your due date, and that is when you are expected to pay. There is no “grace period” of any kind. The Court’s Support Division has computers which scan all their accounts for tardy and/or erratic payments; paying on the 4th or the 5th of the month, with a due date of the 1st of the month, is a tardy payment.
All courts are trending to mandatory inclusion of every child support or alimony account within the Support Division system, to include mandatory wage withholding. This is not a system to be feared, if you plan to make your payments on time, as you should; in fact, it is a valuable record-keeping system which will support your good efforts. A paper trail of compliance is a valuable asset in the Family Court system, and goes a long way to assist you in establishing your credibility in the event of any disputes or possible changes being made in your custodial arrangements, etc. If you have a direct pay arrangement, to your former or estranged spouse, you should very seriously consider setting up a Support Division account voluntarily. The necessary forms are available in each county’s Support Division, and do not require any sort of a Court appearance.
Each Family Court in South Carolina, in every county, has a Support Division to administer alimony and child support collection (along with a very few other items). The clerks in these Divisions are there to assist the public. They will answer questions, provide print-outs, give you forms, and otherwise do what they can – without giving legal advice – to help you along the way. Don’t make enemies of the public servants who work in these offices; if you have a problem, remember that they are trying to help and that they can and will help you, without rancor.
Most recently, the Support Division in Charleston County has created online access to child support and alimony accounts. You can make your payments online without having to haul certified funds downtown, or worry about the mail. All you have to do is visit their office personally to obtain a PIN number, and thereafter you can make payments and keep track of your personal records, online.
If you are behind on your Charleston child support, or someone is behind in their child support payments to you, please call our Charleston child support lawyers for assistance in handling your problem.
Editor’s note: This article was originally published on June 11, 2013 at www.detrevillelaw.com.