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Family Court

PUBLIC NOTICE - MARCH 17, 2020

Family Court emergency hearings will be scheduled on an as needed basis. For any other Family Court concerns, call (843) 545-3215.

 

Location: 401 Cleland Street, 1st Fl. Room 115
Phone: (843) 545-3215

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

Federally Mandated Child/Spousal Support System

The South Carolina Department of Social Services officially implemented the “Federally Mandated” State Disbursement Unit (SDU) in Georgetown, South Carolina, effective June 1, 2019. Upon that date, obligors currently making support payments to Georgetown County Clerk of Court began making payments to the South Carolina State Disbursement Unit and mailed to:

South Carolina State Disbursement Unit
P.O. Box 100302
Columbia, SC 29202-3302

If you appear before a judge due to failure to pay your child support or alimony, and were ordered to pay a specific amount (referred to as a purge payment) to be in compliance with the judge’s ruling, that payment needs to be paid at the office of the Georgetown County Clerk of Court. You can pay with cash, cashier’s check, or money order. Personal checks will not be accepted. Your regular payments are to be sent to the State Disbursement Unit (SDU).  The non-custodial parent will only make payments at the office of the Georgetown County Clerk of Court when a Rule to Show Cause was issued and they were found to be in contempt, or a Bench Warrant was issued for his/her arrest.

Please click on the link below for information concerning making payments to the State Disbursement Unit. Information is provided for those paying child and/or spousal support, custodial parents and employers. 

Those who are paying child and/or spousal support will find several options as to how they can pay their court ordered child support, or alimony payments to the State Disbursement Unit.  If you have any questions, you can call 1-800-768-5858.  Agents are available Monday through Friday, 8:30 a.m. – 5:00 p.m., excluding holidays.

  • Click on link below for information for those paying child and/or spousal support, custodial parents receiving support, or employers who are garnishing employee’s wages to send to the SDU:
  • South Carolina DSS

Child Support Payment System Conversion

 

 

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.

  • Preserves and maintains case records, including records of judgments
  • Collects purge payments of child support and alimony payments as ordered by the Court
  • Prepares Rule to Show Cause for delinquent obligors of child support and alimony payments
  • Issues Bench Warrants as ordered by the Court
  • Appoints Attorneys and Guardian ad Litems on abuse-neglect cases when applicable
  • Maintains the  “608 Appointment List” for appointment of attorneys as needed
  • Maintains Court Calendar
  • Schedules hearings for court
  • Prepares 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 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 and 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.

 

 

Frequently Asked Questions:

Q. How do I make child or spousal support payments in Georgetown County?
A. Effective Monday, June 3, 2019, citizens currently making support payments to the Georgetown County Clerk of Court began making payments to the South Carolina State Disbursement Unit and mailed to:

South Carolina State Disbursement Unit
P.O. Box 100302
Columbia, SC 29202-3302

Note: The State Disbursement Unit will accept personal checks.

If you have questions about when or how to make payments to the State Disbursement Unit, please contact the SDU customer service center at 1-800-768-5858. Agents are available Monday -- Friday, 8:30a.m.-5:00p.m., excluding holidays.

For more information for Customers Paying Support and the options available to make payments, visit https://dss.sc.gov/child-support/new-child-support-system/.

Note: Payments made to the SDU will be applied according to federal guidelines.

Q. How can I check to see if my child support payment has been made?
A. You may come to our office with a picture ID to check on payments, or get a printout. If you are unable to come to the Family Court, please call the State Disbursement Unit at 1-800-768-5858.

Q. I was in court recently and I was ordered to make a lump sum payment, or to pay a court cost that is different from my regular payment. Should I pay the SDU?
A. No. Purge payments are specifically court ordered payments that MUST be made at the Georgetown County Clerk of Court office, at 401 Cleland Street. Make sure you tell the clerk that this is a PURGE payment, or COURT COSTS payment.

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: 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: Where do I change my address?
A: By calling the State Disbursement Unit at 1-800-768-5858, and you will be given direction as to what is needed.

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: 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 filed in 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: Does the Family Court give out legal advice?
A: No, the Family Court office staff are prohibited from giving legal advice, as we are not attorneys.

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.

 

Filing Fee Schedule

Motion Fee Schedule

 

Domestic Cases filing fee                                                    $150.00 (unless exempt by the Judge)

Lis Pendens filed with a Summons and Complaint                  $150.00

Lis Pendens only                                                                 $10.00

Cancellation of Lis Pendens                                                  $1.00

Motions/RTSC                                                                    $25.00

                (No Fee for RTSC that are strictly for child/spousal support)

 

Copies                                                                                $0.50 (per page)

Certifications                                                                       $1.00