Parents who are considering getting a South Carolina divorce often think about how the divorce will impact them, especially financially. Divorcing couples who share children also need to consider how they will split the costs associated with raising and providing for their children. One issue that often comes up in a divorce when the couple shares children is how to deal with a child’s private school costs, or post-secondary educational costs and other educational expenses. Some parents worry about these additional child expenses since they are already anticipating paying child support.
In South Carolina, a child’s educational expenses are in addition to child support. Child support is mandatory, and the issue of the child’s educational expenses is at the discretion of the court. Parents are given the opportunity to first try and come to an agreement between themselves concerning their child’s educational expenses, but if the parents cannot agree, then the decision will be left to the South Carolina Family Court. Some judges will require one parent to pay for the child’s schooling based on that parent’s means and ability to pay, while other judges require the parents to share the child’s educational expenses, regardless of whether the tuition is for private school, parochial education, trade school, or post-secondary education.
South Carolina Child Support Guidelines
In South Carolina, child support determinations are made based on the South Carolina Child Support Guidelines. The court often follows the guidelines as closely as possible, but the guidelines do allow for judges to exercise discretion and deviate from the guidelines when it comes to certain aspects of providing for the child. A child’s school tuition and other educational expenses, for example, is one of the areas that judges can deviate from the guidelines for.
Other reasons that may call for a deviation from the child support guidelines include:
- When families have to provide for more than six children.
- When families have consumer debts.
- When families experience significant medical expenses or dental expenses that are unreimbursed.
- Whether one of the parents has fixed monthly financial obligations imposed on them by the court.
- Whether the children have significant sources of income of their own.
- Other agreements reached between the ex-spouses.
Work With A Charleston Family Law Attorney Today
It is a good idea to work with a skilled child support lawyer to help represent you when it comes to child support issues and additional child educational expense determinations. Child support can be a straightforward issue when all that is involved in the standard Child Support Guidelines. However, there are several issues that can warrant a deviation from the guidelines, such as providing for a child’s educational expenses. A South Carolina child support lawyer can help you try and reach an agreement with your ex-spouse concerning your child’s educational expenses or can represent you before a family court judge. You should contact the experienced professionals at McCoy & Stokes today for assistance.