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Questions Answered by Megan Hunt Dell
1 Answer | Asked in Child Support for South Carolina on
Q: Will a judge lower child support at a judicial hearing for non custodial parent who makes 10 grand a month?

I have a 6month old who has many medical issues due to birth problems, with my ex boyfriend who moved from HOME (Pennsylvania) to South Carolina during my pregnancy.he is listed on her birth certificate. He has only seen my child 2 times since she was born. I am in the process of going for child... Read more »

Megan Hunt Dell
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Megan Hunt Dell
answered on Nov 28, 2022

It sounds like you have sought child support through DSS's administrative process. Generally, if there is not an agreement on support during the conference, then a judge will establish support. If you have copies of any of his paystubs, you can look at his "year-to-date" gross income... Read more »

1 Answer | Asked in Divorce, Estate Planning, Family Law and Military Law for South Carolina on
Q: In SC I am a military member, my spouse is smoking pot illegally and harassing me with it because he knows I can't smoke

By harassing me i mean he smokes it obnoxiously in my face and continues to follow me around with it. I feel like he is trying to sabotage my health and career, and I feel unsafe around him. We are divorcing. The house is mine. He is forcing me out. He pays nothing on the house and is now trying to... Read more »

Megan Hunt Dell
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Megan Hunt Dell
answered on Nov 28, 2022

There are not enough details here to provide you with specific information about your rights. The best course of action is to consult with an experienced South Carolina divorce lawyer.

1 Answer | Asked in Divorce for South Carolina on
Q: If the defendant in a divorce hearing in SC is in default, will it matter if he does not show up to the final hearing?

I live in SC. I filed for a divorce--super easy nothing to split and joint custody, no disputes. Defendant also wants a divorce, been apart for over 4 years. However, he did not turn in the required paperwork and has not responded if he will attend the hearing. Will this be a problem if he does not... Read more »

Megan Hunt Dell
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Megan Hunt Dell
answered on Nov 28, 2022

Under Family Court Rule 17, the judge can hold the Defendant in default and grant the relief requested by the Plaintiff, even if the Defendant does not appear at the hearing; provided, the Defendant must have been given proper notice of the hearing (which, for a final hearing, means the notice has... Read more »

2 Answers | Asked in Child Support and Family Law for South Carolina on
Q: I slept with a woman and had a one night stand. She is insisting I'm father. I don't agree. If so I want to sign over.

I want to sign over rights to child as I do not believe to be this child's father. Would I still have to pay child support if I relinquish rights to this child, if it ends up being mine? I truly believe it's not mine due to nature of the individual and timing or information given. She has... Read more »

Megan Hunt Dell
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Megan Hunt Dell
answered on Nov 28, 2022

In South Carolina, the Family Court will typically not allow you to voluntarily relinquish your rights to allow you to avoid paying child support.

The child's mother could go through the Department of Social Services administrative process to establish paternity and child support. If...
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1 Answer | Asked in Child Support for South Carolina on
Q: Is failure to pay child support ordered by a judge a criminal contempt of court or just contempt of court?
Megan Hunt Dell
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Megan Hunt Dell
answered on Nov 11, 2022

Family Court judges have the authority to hold someone in either civil contempt or criminal contempt. Whether a finding of contempt is civil or criminal depends on whether the person who violated the order is able to "purge" themselves of the punishment by becoming compliant with the... Read more »

1 Answer | Asked in Child Support for South Carolina on
Q: My child lives with me her mother kicked her out but I still pay child support to her what do I do to stop support
Megan Hunt Dell
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Megan Hunt Dell
answered on Nov 11, 2022

First, it will depend on whether there is an order giving you custody of your child. Unless/until you have such an order, you are likely to continue to be obligated to pay child support as previously established.

If there is already an order giving you custody of your child, then you can go...
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1 Answer | Asked in Family Law, Child Custody and Child Support for South Carolina on
Q: If im going for child support, is custody arrangements included in that or does the father have to take me back for that

My ex was abusive towards me, and im scared it would lead to them in the future. Hes been inconsistent with them, this is the 3rd time he vanished on them for months and randomly popped back up. Abandoned us to be evicted from 2 houses now, i didnt have a vehicle and he took my carseats so we were... Read more »

Megan Hunt Dell
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Megan Hunt Dell
answered on Nov 11, 2022

The administrative process for establishing child support that is available through the Department of Social Services does *not* include any ability to establish custody/visitation. However, it is common that when one parent tries to use that process to get support, then the other parent will file... Read more »

1 Answer | Asked in Family Law and Child Support for South Carolina on
Q: I filed for CS in Nov of 21 and I’m just now getting a date for Dec of 22, is my child entitled to back pay?
Megan Hunt Dell
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Megan Hunt Dell
answered on Nov 11, 2022

Whether to award retroactive child support is within the Family Court's discretion; however, the law is clear that the Court can *only* award retroactive support back to the date the action was filed.

1 Answer | Asked in Child Custody and Family Law for South Carolina on
Q: If an unlicensed grandparent drives a child or lives with an undoc immigrant, could that have significance in custody?

I'm anticipating an unpleasant custody dispute in near future and I'm trying to prepare. My former partner receives a significant amount of childcare support from her mother. However, her mother had never received a driver's license. She also lives with her long-time boyfriend who is... Read more »

Megan Hunt Dell
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Megan Hunt Dell
answered on Nov 11, 2022

Choosing inappropriate caregivers is something the Family Court may consider when deciding custody. Allowing the grandmother who does not have a drivers license to drive the child demonstrates poor judgment. The immigration status of people living with the grandmother is likely to have little, if... Read more »

1 Answer | Asked in Family Law for South Carolina on
Q: Stone V Thompson 2019 decision concerning common law marriage: Does the 2019 decision allow for a "grandfather clause" ?

Those in common law marriages before the 2019 decision can still be considered as being married?

Megan Hunt Dell
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Megan Hunt Dell
answered on Nov 11, 2022

Yes, the Stone v. Thompson decision prevented creation of new common law marriages after it was decided (on July 24, 2019), but if a common law marriage was established before that date, its existence can be proven by clear and convincing evidence.

1 Answer | Asked in Adoption and Family Law for South Carolina on
Q: My Daughter is using her Biological father last name(Were not married)..What to do my husband wants to adopt her?

She is using her biological father last name and His name was written on her Birth.I am not married with his father and He is in other country.How can I terminate his parental right when He never give child support.

I am married for 4years and My Husband want to adopt my daughter,Do we... Read more »

Megan Hunt Dell
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Megan Hunt Dell
answered on Nov 11, 2022

First, you should understand that allowing your husband to adopt your daughter and changing her names are separate requests for relief.

Adoptions require very strict compliance with notice and service requirements to be valid. To determine whether you will need to give notice to your...
Read more »

1 Answer | Asked in Divorce, Family Law and Child Custody for South Carolina on
Q: Should a father file for divorce or child abandonment first. Mother abandoned children and spouse 10 years ago.

Mother left spouse and children in 2012. She has not been in contact with, sent money or anything in those 10 years. I want to make sure I protect my children. I just don't know if I should file for divorce first or if i should file for the abandonment of the children first.

Megan Hunt Dell
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Megan Hunt Dell
answered on Nov 11, 2022

In South Carolina, Rule 18, SCRCP, requires that all claims that *can* be brought at the same time *must* be brought at the same time. The South Carolina Family Court is unlikely to grant a divorce until issues related to your children are resolved. Chances are, filing for divorce and custody at... Read more »

1 Answer | Asked in Divorce for South Carolina on
Q: Can I file for a divorce without the spouse signature?

I was married in NYC, but lived in SC for almost a year. He refuses to sign papers.

Megan Hunt Dell
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Megan Hunt Dell
answered on Nov 11, 2022

In South Carolina, you do not need your spouse's signature to file for divorce. However, if your spouse does not live in South Carolina, it may be more appropriate to file in a different state, but there are not enough facts here to determine the best jurisdiction.

1 Answer | Asked in Child Support for South Carolina on
Q: My ex husband is over $25,000 behind in back child support. His child support payment is based on income of $700 month

Our 3 children are over 18 now

Can I ask the judge to modify his payment amount based on his current income of approximately 2100.00 month.

Megan Hunt Dell
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Megan Hunt Dell
answered on Aug 25, 2022

If he has previously been held in contempt for failure to pay, then he is likely ordered to pay the arrears at a court-ordered rate. If you believe he is earning more income than before -- and that you can provide evidence of his greater income -- then you could file an action to modify the prior... Read more »

1 Answer | Asked in Child Custody and Family Law for South Carolina on
Q: In child custody when a court order is needed can I file papers to refute such an order based on the children’s needs?

This involves the custodial parent moving more than 15 miles from a present location which would encumber all the details of the custodial agreement.

Megan Hunt Dell
PREMIUM
Megan Hunt Dell
answered on Aug 25, 2022

I'm a little bit confused by your question, but it seems like you are asking whether a court order can be modified based on the custodial parent moving more than 15 miles from their current location because the relocation would make the terms of the agreement difficult to follow.

Court...
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1 Answer | Asked in Family Law, Child Custody and Child Support for South Carolina on
Q: What can I do?

During a separation I started seeing a girl, decided that didn't work out. Over a year later she's wanting a DNA test for a child I didn't know about. She has another man on the certificate, I also want to sign my rights over if the child is mine. What can I do? What happens if her... Read more »

Megan Hunt Dell
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Megan Hunt Dell
answered on Aug 25, 2022

It's unclear whether the mother of the child has filed an action in Family Court. If she were to do so, then the Court could order you to undergo DNA testing. Assuming you are the biological father of the child, and you want to terminate your rights, then you would need to sign a "Consent... Read more »

1 Answer | Asked in Family Law and Child Custody for South Carolina on
Q: How to ask judge to make defendant fill out "financial verification (SCCA 430)" form and let me have the info?

In the case the defendants will have to pay us child support but the court is going to use a statum of minimum wage as a basis. I know that they have a higher income, so would like the judge to make them fill out a financial verification form so that I could use the information as part of the... Read more »

Megan Hunt Dell
PREMIUM
Megan Hunt Dell
answered on Aug 25, 2022

It sounds like you may have placement of a child as part of an action brought by the Department of Social Services.

SCRFC Rule 20 requires a financial declaration to be completed in any action in which the financial condition of a party is relevant. If you are a party to the case, you can...
Read more »

1 Answer | Asked in Domestic Violence and Family Law for South Carolina on
Q: It a dad makes no attempt to see his child in 3 months is that ok by the family court?

Last year before my son and I went into dv shelter. My ex while I was in fl at my parents moved out of our home. Took all his belonging as well as mine. I still haven't got back some things court ordered for him to return. He never told me where he went. He ghosted my son and I for almost 5... Read more »

Megan Hunt Dell
PREMIUM
Megan Hunt Dell
answered on Aug 25, 2022

From your question, it's unclear whether you want your ex to visit with your son. I can tell how frustrated you are about dealing with this situation. The only mechanism the Family Court has to compel people to comply with its Orders is to hold them in contempt, and the sanctions for contempt... Read more »

1 Answer | Asked in Family Law and Child Custody for South Carolina on
Q: I'm in SC, baby was born in Florida and lives with mother in NC. Where do I go to court to get shared custody?
Megan Hunt Dell
PREMIUM
Megan Hunt Dell
answered on Aug 25, 2022

Under the Uniform Child Custody Jurisdiction and Enforcement Act, which each state has a version of, only the "home state" of the child has jurisdiction to decide custody of the child.

If the child has never lived in SC, then SC does not have jurisdiction to decide custody....
Read more »

1 Answer | Asked in Family Law and Child Custody for South Carolina on
Q: Can autism cause extenuating circumstances in a child custody cause ? If child is getting diagnosis during the case?

My two year old is being diagnosed with autism and speech delay. The biological father has been in and out of her life since birth and now has been no contact with the child in question since march and it's now almost September... By the time the next court hearing happens it will be close to... Read more »

Megan Hunt Dell
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Megan Hunt Dell
answered on Aug 25, 2022

S.C. Code Ann. Section 63-15-240(B) requires the Family Court to consider the best interests of the child when determining custody, including the temperamental and developmental needs of a child, the capacity and disposition of the parents to understand and meet the needs of the child, and the past... Read more »

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