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Questions Answered by Megan Hunt Dell
1 Answer | Asked in Child Support and Divorce for South Carolina on
Q: What do I do if I and going through a 2 plus year divorce in sc and spouse owes child support but ran off to AZ

I don’t not know where he is in AZ only found where he got a speeding ticket in Chandler Az in April of this year. Have not been able to find him until this ticket I found. He has not shown up for court dates etc

Megan Hunt Dell
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Megan Hunt Dell
answered on Jan 30, 2023

A private investigator in Arizona should be able to run a "skip trace" to try to determine his whereabouts. You might also search for any public records related to his speeding ticket -- the jurisdiction where he received it likely has an address for him.

1 Answer | Asked in Child Support and Tax Law for South Carolina on
Q: What’s the best way to keep finances separated if you are about to marry a man with child support

Do I have to file married with him or can I keep it as head of household?

Megan Hunt Dell
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Megan Hunt Dell
answered on Jan 30, 2023

This is actually a question about taxes. Married couples can file taxes in one of two ways: "married filing jointly" or "married filing separately."

Filing your taxes as a married person, either jointly with your spouse or separately, does not affect your fiance's...
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1 Answer | Asked in Child Support for South Carolina on
Q: How to stop wage garnishment in South Carolina
Megan Hunt Dell
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Megan Hunt Dell
answered on Jan 30, 2023

S.C. Code Ann. Section 63-17-1470(B) provides that a person who is subject to income withholding may petition the Family Court to terminate the withholding if (1) there is no longer a current order for support and all arrearages are paid; or (2) the payor has not previously terminated withholding... Read more »

1 Answer | Asked in Child Custody and Civil Litigation for South Carolina on
Q: My fiances ex keeps calling dss on us and now calling on the daycare where I work? She is doing this trying to get cust

She wants custody of the kids who my fiance has primary custody

Megan Hunt Dell
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Megan Hunt Dell
answered on Jan 30, 2023

Your best course of action is to document, document, document. You might also benefit from having a consultation with a lawyer who is experienced in both DSS investigations and private custody cases.

1 Answer | Asked in Domestic Violence, Family Law and Divorce for South Carolina on
Q: What if the petitioner was the actual person doing the abusing?

My wife has placed a order of protection on me and she is the real abuser in our home. I have all of our email and text messages that we have exchanged between us while we were fighting. She is a verbal abuser, and she is also quite possibly a Narcissist also. The judge even gave her the question... Read more »

Megan Hunt Dell
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Megan Hunt Dell
answered on Jan 30, 2023

Your best course of action is to seek the advice of a divorce lawyer who has experience dealing with abusive situations and orders of protection. However, you should note that "verbal abuse" is not a ground for divorce or basis for issuance of an order of protection in South Carolina.

1 Answer | Asked in Family Law and Child Custody for South Carolina on
Q: Who is the visiting parent? In final order it states the visiting parent won’t get the following weekend after a holiday
Megan Hunt Dell
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Megan Hunt Dell
answered on Jan 30, 2023

In your court Order, there is likely language that designates one parent as the custodian and the other parent as the visiting parent; or, the "visiting parent" is the parent who has less time with the child(ren) overall. You may need to schedule a consultation with a family court lawyer... Read more »

1 Answer | Asked in Family Law and Child Custody for South Carolina on
Q: What should a father do if a mother runs to another state from SC with minor child?

Mother, father, and child live together in the child’s birth state. Mother has lived in that state for almost one year and the child is 6 months old, she plans to visit her home state. Father says it’s not a good idea since child has been sick. Mother goes and then calls father and says she... Read more »

Megan Hunt Dell
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Megan Hunt Dell
answered on Jan 30, 2023

Most states have enacted a version of the Uniform Child Custody Jurisdiction Enforcement Act (referred to as the "UCCJEA"), and the typical provisions of the UCCJEA provide that an initial custody case can only be brought in the "home state" of the child; for a child who is an... Read more »

1 Answer | Asked in Child Custody and Family Law for South Carolina on
Q: Can you regain primary custody before a final hearing?

If you lost primary custody temporarily before the final hearing, but a third party had come forward and filed for emergency custody against the other parent, are you able to regain custody instead of the third party before the final hearing?

Megan Hunt Dell
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Megan Hunt Dell
answered on Jan 30, 2023

You have not provided very many facts of your specific situation so it's impossible to suggest what might be appropriate for your case. That being said, custody determinations (either temporary or final) are always modifiable by the Family Court.

1 Answer | Asked in Family Law, Child Custody and Child Support for South Carolina on
Q: I had my son when his father and I were split up. His father is not on the birth certificate

I had my son when his father and I were split up. His father is not on the birth certificate. Our son is 3 months old and we are now back together. We’ve been back together in a relationship since our son was 2 weeks old. His father and I do not live together. I work and his father helps... Read more »

Megan Hunt Dell
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Megan Hunt Dell
answered on Jan 30, 2023

Medicaid is funded by the federal government. For any South Carolina resident to receive those funds, federal law requires the person to seek child support from the other parent. However, the process for establishing child support through DSS is very cooperative, and you may be able to agree to him... Read more »

1 Answer | Asked in Divorce for South Carolina on
Q: My wife and I sold a house in Massachusetts moved to South Carolina. We are having problems in our marriage

We bought a house in South Carolina no mortgage but she’s the only one on the title. I am not. She’s trying to force me to move back to Massachusetts because we are having problems with her daughter. She saying she does not wanna divorce, but wants me to move back to Massachusetts. I’m... Read more »

Megan Hunt Dell
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Megan Hunt Dell
answered on Jan 30, 2023

It is unclear how long you and your wife have lived in South Carolina, and that is an important fact for determining whether the Family Court would have authority to address any issues in a divorce between you and your wife. Assuming you have both lived here for at least 3 months, then the... Read more »

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...
Read more »

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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
PREMIUM
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
PREMIUM
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
PREMIUM
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
PREMIUM
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.

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