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Family Court

Location: 401 Cleland Street, 1st Fl. Room 115
Phone: (843) 545-3046

Fax: (843)-545-3294
Office Hours: 8:30 a.m. - 5 p.m., Monday - Friday (except legal holidays)
Mailing Address: P.O. Box 479, Georgetown, SC 29442

Department Functions:

The Family Court has exclusive jurisdiction to hear cases concerning domestic disputes. Among the many types of matters that the Family Court presides over are divorces, annulment, separate maintenance and support, custody, visitation rights, child support, alimony, division of marital property, paternity, legal guardianship, domestic violence incidents, and change of name. 

Confidential cases brought before the Family Court are adoptions, abuse-neglect, and termination of parental rights.  The Family Court also generally has exclusive jurisdiction over juveniles where the minors are under the age of seventeen, which are also confidential.

Any private cases ordered by a Family Court Judge to be sealed are considered confidential and unavailable to the public without a “Court Order” allowing the case to be unsealed.

Confidential cases are not available through the Clerk of Court’s Public Access System.

Activities of Family Court include:

  • Preserves and maintains case records, including records of judgments
  • Collects and disburses child support and alimony payments as ordered by the Court
  • Prepares Rule to Show Cause for delinquent payors of child support and alimony payments
  • Issues Bench Warrants as ordered by the Court
  • Prepares wage withholding for garnishment through the payor’s employer  for child support and/or alimony payments
  • Appoints Attorneys and Guardian ad Litems when applicable
  • Maintains the 608 Appointment List for appointment of attorneys as needed
  • Scheduling hearings for court
  • Preparing rosters for court

Directions:

From Columbia: Take S.C. Highway 76/378 toward Sumter. Travel about 25 miles then exit onto S.C. Highway 261 to Manning. S.C. Highway 261 becomes 521 in Manning. Take Highway 521 to Georgetown. Inside the city limits, highway 521 becomes Highmarket (H-Market) Street. Continue on Highmarket Street to Cleland Street. Turn left onto Cleland Street. The Georgetown County Judicial Center sits on the left.

From Charleston: Take S.C. Highway 17 North to Georgetown. Once inside the city limits, Highway 17 becomes S. Fraser Street. At the third traffic light, turn right onto Church Street. Turn right onto Cleland Street. The Judicial Center sits on the right.

From Myrtle Beach: Take S.C. Highway 17 South to Georgetown. Upon entering Georgetown, Highway 17 becomes Church Street. Travel along Church Street; turn left onto Cleland Street. The Georgetown County Judicial Center sits on the right.

From Conway: Take S.C. Highway 701 South to Georgetown. Inside the city limits, Highway 701 becomes N. Fraser Street. At the fourth traffic light, turn left onto Church Street. Take Church Street to Cleland Street. Turn right onto Cleland. The Georgetown County Judicial Center sits on the right.

Department News:

Banned in all courtrooms in South Carolina, by order of the Chief Justice of the Supreme Court of South Carolina is the use of audible pagers, cell phones, and any other personal communication device by attorneys, jurors, staff members, litigants, witnesses, or the public. Except with express permission of the presiding judge, these devices must be turned off, or placed in a silent mode, such as vibrate, prior to being carried into any courtroom. Should a device activate in the courtroom, the person possessing the device must exit the courtroom before responding in any fashion. Violation of the terms of this Order may result in the confiscation of the equipment and the violator may be held in contempt of court and subject to sanctions.

Trial Rosters

Roster are in Adobe Acrobat PDF Format.

 

Updates:

  • Child Support/Alimony  Recipients can enroll for “Direct Deposit”
  • Child Support/Alimony payments may be made with most major credit cards

    (Please contact the Family Court at (843) 545.3215 and follow the directions to receive information on the above.)

Frequently Asked Questions:

Q: Can I call the office to find out the status of my child support or alimony payments?
A: Please dial (843) 545.3215 and follow the directions for information concerning the status of child support/alimony payments. You will be asked to verify personal information prior to your request being granted. You may also come into the office to find out the status of your payments, provided you have picture identification. Or, you may mail your request by preparing a notarized statement in writing, along with a copy of your picture identification. All of the above is for the protection of your case.  Family Court will not give out to anyone information who is not authorized to receive it.

Q: Where do I file for a restraining order?
A: If you are seeking a Restraining Order because of an incident of domestic abuse, first contact the Family Justice Center of Georgetown County, (843) 546-3926 to initiate the process, which will be passed on to Family Court. If you are in immediate distress or danger, please call 911. Domestic Abuse Petitions cover family members and two unmarried parties that have a child together. Restraining Orders are only temporary through the filing of a Domestic Abuse Petition. If you wish to file for a permanent Restraining Order, you will need an attorney unless you know and understand the proper procedure.

Q: Where do I make my child support or alimony payments?
A: Payments are made at the Georgetown County Family Court office, located in the Georgetown County Judicial Center at 401 Cleland Street, Georgetown, SC. The mailing address is Family Court, P.O. Box 479, Georgetown, SC 29442. There is also a Family Court "Drive-Through Window" that you can place your cash, checks or money orders in for payment outside the Judicial Center. A clerk will post your payment and forward you the receipt. Upon entering from 401 Cleland Street, the “Drive-Through Window” is to the right in the large parking lot towards the back, and you can also enter from Dozier Street. IF YOU MAIL YOUR PAYMENT, MAKE SURE YOUR CASE NUMBER IS ON YOUR CHECK OR MONEY ORDER. DO NOT MAIL CASH. WE ONLY ACCEPT CHECKS FROM THE PARTIES INVOLVED, AND EMPLOYERS FOR THOSE PARTIES THAT ARE ON WAGE WITHHOLDING. WE DO NOT ACCEPT CHECKS THAT ARE OUT OF STATE, OR FROM FAMILY OR FRIENDS.

Q: How do I get a receipt for my support payment if I mail it in?
A: Provide a self-addressed, stamped envelope with a request for your receipt to be returned.

Q: Can I pick up my support check?
A: Support checks can not be picked up. Once the payment has been posted, the check will be mailed the next working day.

Q: If child support or alimony payments are not being made by the responsible party as ordered, why has he/she not been brought before the Court?
A: There could be various reasons:

  • Is he/she out of state?
  • Have you contacted the Family Court to see if the responsible party not making the payments has an updated address? Numerous attempts of service are made, but the party may be unable to be located at the address given.
  • If the party was placed on wage withholding, it’s possible he/she is no longer working at the same job.

Q: Why haven’t I received my support check if the payment was made?
A: It’s possible that your check was returned to the Family Court due to your change of address which was not received by our office. Also, the check may have been lost in the mail.

Q: Where do I change my address?
A: You can come to the Family Court office and request the address change. It must be done in writing and include a photo identification. Also, you can mail or fax in your request, which will need to include a photo identification and a notarized statement. This is for your protection. The fax number is (843) 545-3294.

Q: Where and how do I file for child support?
A: One files for child support in one of the following ways:

  • Hiring an attorney
  • Applying with the South Carolina Department of Social Services -- Family Court has the necessary applications
  • Filing as a Self-Represented Litigant -- Forms are on the South Carolina Court Administration Website at www.judicial.state.sc.us --  go under General Public and click on SRL Child Support Packets
  • You may contact Family Court for explanations on any of the above. 

Q: What services does the South Carolina Department of Social Services provide?
A: The South Carolina Department of Social Services provides the following assistance:

  • Parent Locate
  • Income Tax Intercept
  • License Revocation
  • Registering “Child Support Orders” in another state in which the non-custodial parent resides

Q: What are the filing fees for Family Court?
A: The costs for filings are:

  • Summons and Complaint (new case) -- $150
  • Motions and Rules To Show Cause -- $25 – some exemptions
  • Consent Orders -- $25
  • Lis Pendens -- $10
  • Cancellation of Lis Pendens -- $1

Q: Does the Family Court give out legal advice?
A: No, the Family Court office staff does not give out legal advice.

Q: Can the Family Court staff recommend an attorney or law firm?
A: No, the Family Court office staff is prohibited from referring you to an attorney.

Q: Can I act as my own attorney when filing a case?
A: Yes, but Family Court cannot give you any advice as to the law or procedures.