In South Carolina, both parents have a legally enforceable obligation to support their minor children - that is, those under 18 years of age.
When the marriage is dissolved or when a separation takes place, the parents may agree on a reasonable amount of support to be contributed by either, or both parents. If they cannot agree, a judge will set an amount.
The court retains the right to increase, decrease or stop payments depending on the changing financial conditions and needs of the parents and the child; either parent may petition the court asking for such a change.
A parent who fails to pay child support may be found in contempt of court and maybe punished by a fine or jail sentence.
If a parent obligated to pay child support leaves South Carolina and then fails to pay child support, the requirement to pay can still be enforced in another state.
Child support usually terminates upon a child's reaching age 18, but it can continue under special circumstances.
This information was prepared to give you some general information on the law. It is not intended as legal advice about any particular problem. If you have questions about the law you should consult a lawyer. If you do not know a lawyer, you can call the South Carolina Bar Lawyer Referral Service weekdays between 9 a.m. and 5 p.m. The number is 799-7100 in Richland or Lexington Counties, and 1-800-868-2284 from other parts of the state.