Post-Judgment Modifications: Custody & Child Support

During your divorce, you and your spouse had to arrive at terms regarding the custody of your children. However, the amount you paid or received in child support is more an objective calculation. The court looks at your gross income and considers your potential for earning money if you are unemployed or underemployed (i.e., making less than you should). The following are examples of income that are considered:

  • Wages, salary, and commissions
  • Royalties you receive
  • Veterans benefits
  • Alimony
  • Dividends from investments
  • Pensions and Social Security benefits

The court uses the Schedule of Basic Child Support Obligations to determine the amount of money awarded to one of the parents. Post-judgment modifications exist because variables such as gross income can change over time. A change in custody could also affect how much you pay or receive. In South Carolina, the court wants to ensure “…that child should receive the same proportion of parental income that they would have received had the parents lived together.”

What Warrants a Post-Judgment Modification?

There are several valid reasons to seek out a change in child support through a post-judgment modification:

  • An illness prevents you from working
  • You have filed for bankruptcy 
  • You have been given a raise
  • You are unemployed
  • A change in custody schedules

Although a family law attorney will assist you with modifying your payments, it is essential to remember that the court’s orders are valid during these changes in circumstances. For example, losing your job doesn’t automatically eliminate your obligation to pay child support. If that were to happen, you need to contact an attorney who will file a court action immediately. Don’t let the money you owe accrue because you think you cannot afford it. Even if you don’t have the money to pay child support, you will likely still owe it in the future. The court looks at the last order they gave. 

Changes to Child Custody

The two phrases that surround this issue are:

  • Best interests of the child
  • A significant change in circumstances

These are critical components of altering your custody arrangement. Many factors go into determining custody, but your attorney examines the specifics of your situation and develops an appropriate argument to demonstrate both. Suppose the custodial parent has a substance abuse issue that wasn’t present during the original divorce process. That would constitute a change in circumstances, but it doesn’t automatically mean that a judge will grant a change in custody. The court may look at the severity of the problem, the custodial parent’s ability to rehabilitate, and what kind of relationship the child has with the non-custodial parent. The specific details of each case are critical. The same line of thought extends to if the child requesting the change is struggling under the custodial parent’s custody and if the non-custodial parent claims that the custodial parent is unfit. 

Cate & Brough Can Assist You With Post-Judgment Modifications

The attorneys at Cate & Brough will treat you like family. As parents, we understand how important it is to be in your child’s life. Whether you seek to modify custody or child support, we have the experience to provide first-class representation. Call us at (864) 585-4226 to schedule your consultation.

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Cate & Brough, P.A.

At Cate & Brough, we all have personal experience with family law and family court. We know more than just what the law says about your issue – we know what you are going through.

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