How To Calculate Child Support Payments

Child support can be a hot-button issue for divorcing couples, but the state of South Carolina tries to minimize negotiations by making the child support process as standardized as possible. You may be wondering how to calculate child support payments so you can plan your budget following a divorce. The court determines child support payments objectively based on the needs of the child, the parent’s ability to pay, and how much time each parent spends with the child. Find out how much child support you can expect to pay or receive in your case.

South Carolina Child Support Laws

The Child Support Guidelines in South Carolina were issued by the South Carolina Department of Social Services and are based on the Income Shares Model. The guidelines can be accessed on the DSS website, along with a child support calculator that can help you estimate the amount of child support due in your case.

The state also addresses other issues relevant to child support obligations in the South Carolina Children’s Code, Title 63. Although the child support calculation model is standardized, South Carolina’s child support statute also gives judges the discretion to make determinations in the best interest of the child.

Determining Child Support Obligations

When determining how to calculate child support payments, several factors are taken into consideration, including:

  • The number of children receiving support
  • The amount of time the child spends with each parent
  • The monthly gross income of each parent
  • The amount of spousal support being paid or received by either parent
  • Children from a different relationship being supported by either parent
  • The cost of child care, health insurance premiums, and medical expenses

This information is input into a complex mathematical formula to calculate the amount of child support payments owed to the children in each case. Each parent’s share of this obligation is calculated according to his or her income. The parent that owes more pays the difference to the other parent.

Modifying A Child Support Order

Determining child support obligations in South Carolina is relatively objective. However, you can ask the judge to consider any relevant information not included in the standardized child support calculation. Other factors that may be considered when making a child support determination include special needs of the child and any substantial assets not counted as income. A judge will make a decision that is fair to both parents and in the best interests of the child.

Once a child support order has been set, it can only be modified if there is a significant change of circumstances. If you or your former spouse’s income changes substantially (increases or decreases by at least 10%), you can ask that your child support order be modified to reflect these changes. Because child support obligations are highly contingent on the amount of time spent with the child, if your child custody arrangements change, this may also affect how much you pay or receive in child support.

Child Support Lawyers In Charleston, SC

It can be costly to raise and support a family. Make sure your children have the support they need. Contact the experienced family law attorneys at McCoy & Stokes, LLC today.