and with that being said I wouldn't be able to pay the full amount up front. I'm hoping to get a tax refund that might cover the fees associated with the hearing. Would it be possible to retain a lawyer anyways?
You might contact SC Legal Services, our state's legal aid group, to see if they might can assist in this type of matter. Also, if you have a lot of other debt, and could pay your child support if you didn't have as much to pay to other creditors, then you might want to get a bankruptcy consultation, since child support arrears can be paid back in a Chapter 13 bankruptcy, while other creditors are paid much less than the full amount over time without any interest.
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