If you are looking to increase or decrease your child support payment, Greenville child support lawyer J. Michael Turner, Jr. in Greenville, SC can assist you. He can review your circumstances, provide honest advice, and advocate for your legal rights. Contact Turner Family Law to talk about your case.
As children grow, circumstances change. A parent may get a raise or a new job with a higher salary. Alternatively, a parent may lose their job. The needs and expenses of the children may change. South Carolina law anticipates these changes and allows a parent to petition the court to increase or decrease child support.
Lawyer to increase or decrease child support
Whether you are paying support, and want to decrease the amount you pay, or you receive support and need the amount to increase, Michael Turner will advocate for your interests. Ask for a consultation with Michael Turner and we can start working on your case right away.
Child Support Modification in South Carolina
In South Carolina, the court may modify child support when a party shows a change in the child’s needs or the parent’s ability to pay. The party who wants the increase or decrease must show how the circumstances have changed. The change in circumstances must be substantial or material. The court will not entertain a modification if the changes are minor.
For a modification request to be successful, the parent requesting it must provide evidentiary support. General testimony that expenses have increased is insufficient. Bills, proof of expenses, and other records are likely necessary. The court will weigh the evidence and decide. See Upchurch v. Upchurch, 367 S.C. 16 (2006), Calvert v. Calvert, 287 S.C. 130 (1985).
Grounds to Increase or Decrease Child Support
Here are some reasons that it may be appropriate to ask for a child support modification:
- You lose your job
- The other parent’s income increases
- A medical condition increases the child’s needs and expenses
- The child is now living with the other parent
- Finishing high school or becoming emancipated
- Who can provide health insurance has changed
- Childcare expenses increase or decrease
- A party has additional children
Changes in income are a common reason to request child support modification. Often, a decrease in the income of the payer is sufficient grounds to modify support. However, the court will consider the reason for the decrease and whether it impacts the parent’s ability to meet the current support obligation. While a request for a change certainly can be successful, the parent must prepare for the high amount of proof required and the need to demonstrate its impact on the ability to pay.
A South Carolina child support order can be changed. The change must be significant. If you are the party looking for the change, you must provide the necessary evidence to the court. Having a lawyer ensures that you have the evidence the court will expect to see to support your request.
Even if there is no change that is significant enough to qualify for a child support review, upon request, the court will conduct a routine review every three years. The review is not automatic. A parent must request it. The review will essentially conduct a recalculation to see if a modification is warranted.
Deviating from the child support formula
Child support awards are generally based on the South Carolina child support guidelines and worksheets. These guidelines incorporate a number of inputs to enable the court to perform a calculation and arrive at a presumptive amount of support. However, it is not always appropriate to order the calculated amount. There may be times when it is necessary to deviate from the child support formula.
A request for modification may be based on grounds for deviation. Examples may include post-secondary tuition expenses or extraordinary travel expenses when parents live a significant distance apart. The parent must prove that the change is appropriate as well as the basis for the deviation.
Lawyer for Child Support Modification in South Carolina
To talk to a lawyer for child support modification in South Carolina, contact Michael Turner of Turner Family Law. He will give you honest advice about your case. When he represents you, he will use every avenue to pursue your legal interests. For your consultation, and to begin today, call or message Turner Family Law in Greenville. We look forward to assisting you so get in touch with us today.