Raising children is an expensive endeavor. Co-parents who have recently separated and/or are divorcing are usually interested in finding out the amount of child support they will be paying or receiving. The amount of child support is decided objectively by the state based on the child’s needs, the parents’ ability to pay, and how much time the child spends with each parent. In this article, we’ll walk you through child support guidelines in South Carolina to help you better understand the process.
Who determines child support payments in South Carolina?
Child support payments in South Carolina are determined by the Child Support Guidelines issued by the South Carolina Department of Social Services. These guidelines use formulas, taking into account a number of factors to calculate the amount of monthly child support payments for each family.
The Child Support Guidelines can be viewed in PDF form on the Department of Social Services’ website. DSS also offers an online calculator which can be used to estimate how much child support you can expect to pay or receive.
What information do I need to find out my child support payments?
In South Carolina, child support payments are determined by considering the following questions:
- How many children are receiving child support?
- Who has custody of the child?
- How many days are spent with each parent per year?
- What is the monthly gross income of the mother?
- What is the monthly gross income of the father?
- If either spouse is receiving alimony, how much are the spousal support payments?
- Is either parent paying or receiving alimony from someone else?
- Are there any other children from a previous relationship living in the home?
- Who is paying for the child’s health insurance premiums and medical expenses?
- Who is paying for child care?
The answers to these questions are computed into a mathematical formula to determine the total monthly amount of support a child should receive.
Can I appeal a South Carolina child support decision?
Because child support calculation in South Carolina is relatively standardized, disputes in child support cases usually revolve around how much parenting time each parent should get. If the child spends about 30 percent or more of the time (overnight visits) with the non-custodial parent, the amount of child support payments will be less than if his/her parenting time falls below that threshold.
In every child support case, you can ask the judge to consider other factors not automatically considered when calculating child support. For example, a child may have special needs, or one parent might have significant liquid assets not included in his income calculation. A family law judge will look at the individual circumstances of your case and determine an equitable solution that is in the best interest of the child.
Will the level of support ever change?
If you or your former spouse’s circumstances change significantly, for better or worse, you can petition the court to modify your child support payments. There is also recourse for parents that do not receive their child support payments on time. Family courts will work with families to enforce child support orders. If necessary, they will order wage garnishment to secure child support payments.
Get Help With Your Case
To help ensure your children are receiving the support they need, contact the expert child support attorneys at Klok Law Firm LLC in Mt. Pleasant, South Carolina. We can help you understand the child support guidelines in South Carolina and work on your behalf to help ensure an equitable outcome.