After years of battling her ex for child support, Charlene Frady has taken her case to the courtroom before, but always on her own.
“He left when I was four months pregnant,” said Charlene. “I cannot afford an attorney.”
And she's not alone. Child support cases are among the top calls into 7 On Your Side.
We took Charlene's concerns to Attorney Maggi Fields Bailey in Greenville. She works with the South Carolina Bar Pro Bono Program.
And next week that program is coming to the Upstate, offering free legal clinics to answer your questions.
“There's a huge need really for free legal services,” said Bailey.
When it comes to child support, Bailey says the most important thing you can do to win in court is to keep good records.
“If the person hasn't been paying through the court system, then the person receiving the money needs to document how many payments have been missed,” said Bailey.
Also, keep tabs of where your ex lives and let the court system know.
“Trying to make sure that you know where they live and where they've gone to, keeping in touch with their friends and family so that you can then inform a process server and the attorney,” said Bailey.
She also suggests checking with your county's child support enforcement office for help through the Department of Social Services.
If you need an attorney but can't afford one, you can apply for help through SC Legal Services at 1-888-346-5592.
The S.C. Bar Pro Bono Program is also offering a free, statewide web chat on October 23rd, from 9am to 7pm. You can chat live with an attorney during that time by clicking here.
And here’s the information on the S.C. Bar Pro Bono Program’s free legal clinics in the Upstate:October 22:
End of Life Issues (Health Care POA, Living Wills, DNRs, Funeral Planning and Cremation) Union County Museum
127 W. Main St., Union
Consumer Law Issues
Anderson Co. Public Library
300 N. McDuffie St., Anderson
Family Law Issues
Anderson Rd. Branch Library
2625 Anderson Rd., Greenville