Sunday, October 13, 2013
A new on-line interactive software and instructional video is now available for custodial and non-custodial parents wanting to modify their child support orders through the South Carolina Family Court. Go to www.modifychildsupportsc.com to view an instructional video and to get the links to the website where forms can be completed. Anyone can access these resources through a personal computer or a computer at a local library. Individuals are still encouraged to seek legal counsel.
In recent years, more individuals need access to the court system to adjust child support orders in a timely manner. When individuals cannot afford an attorney to represent them in court, they may choose to represent themselves in court as a self-represented litigant. This process is called Pro Se which means on one’s own behalf.
With this project, self-represented litigants can quickly and easily produce court-approved needed legal documents by following step-by-step directions and answering questions via an easy-to-use online interactive software found at www.lawhelp.org/sc (see self-help forms) or through the www.modifychildsupportsc.com websites. Self-represented litigants are guided through a series of questions that help to automatically complete the required forms.
“The South Carolina Access to Justice Commission is thrilled with the Child Support Modification Packet and Online Document Assembly Program, and to have been a partner organization throughout the process. One of our goals has been to improve resources to self-represented litigants, and this project does just that. The packets provide simple instruction, and the document assembly removes most of the potential for errors. These efforts should increase court efficiency, while improving the experience of litigants,” said Robin F. Wheeler, executive director, South Carolina Access to Justice Commission.
Self-represented litigants will also benefit from an instructional video that outlines the pro se modification process into easily accessible modules. The training video guides self-represented litigants through the decisions to determine if a modification request is appropriate, things to consider in seeking a modification, the step-by-step process and forms and documents needed for each step, and what to expect in court. The video is broken into modules to allow the self-represented litigant the ability to tap into sections of the information as needed. A copy of the instructions can also be downloaded.
“The Integrated Child Support Services Division of the South Carolina Department of Social Services strives to help South Carolina’s children through services to custodial and non-custodial parents. We are pleased to have been a partner working to help families needing access to the courts. The automated interview simplifies the child support modification process and will enhance the work we do every day,” said Katie C. Morgan, director, Integrated Child Support Services Division South Carolina Department of Social Services.
This project is the result of a partnership between The S.C. Center for Fathers and Families, South Carolina Legal Services, Integrated Child Support Services Division of the South Carolina Department of Social Services, South Carolina Access to Justice Commission, South Carolina Court Administration and the South Carolina Bar Foundation and was funded by a grant from the Federal Office of Child Support Enforcement. The group brought together many years of experience in child support, access to justice, family law and working with low-income parents.
Visit www.modifychildsupportsc.com. If you would like a trainer to provide an overview of this project to your local organization, please contact the S.C. Center for Fathers and Families at 803-227-8800 or S.C. Legal Services at 803-744-4179.