In the South Carolina a parent or legal custodian can petition the court for a court order requiring the payment of child support. There are numerous factors that are considered when determining who should pay support and how much support should be ordered. Whether you are seeking an award of support or whether an action has been filed against you for support, Murray Law Offices will take the time necessary and work with you to make certain that all the allowable factors that affect child support awards are carefully considered. Generally the non-custodial parent, or parent who spends less than 50% of the time with the children, is the party required to pay support. The custodial parent is also required to support their child/children but the law makes the assumption that the parent receiving support is also spending the required amount on the children directly.
CHILD SUPPORT CALCULATION AND FACTORS AFFECTING SUPPORT
The South Carolina Family Courts use South Carolina Child Support Guidelines as the legal basis for support orders made by the South Carolina Family Courts. When factoring child support the courts in South Carolina first look to the parties gross income, this being all of your before tax income including but not limited to employment income, bonuses, commissions, severance pay, rental income, investment income, pensions, trust income, and even alimony. In other words, all sources of income. In addition to income the courts also consider health insurance costs for the minor child, work or school related daycare, uncovered medical expenses for your children, prior child support orders, and other children in the home among other factors. A useful tool to give you an idea of what child support might be set at can be found by using the South Carolina Child Support Calculator. Contact Murray Law Offices and we will work for you to make sure that the all of proper factors are considered when something as important as child support is being factored.
Calculating Child Support
South Carolina provides a Child Support Calculator to help you determine your base amount of child support. While this is a useful tool, there is no guarantee that the number given by this calculator will be what a court orders you to pay. This is because a court can adjust the amount of support either up or down if following the guidelines gives a result that would be unjust to a parent or the child.
Before you use the calculator, take a look at the state's Child Support Obligation Worksheets. These worksheets will help you compute income and they include deductions that can get you to a more accurate result than using the calculator alone.
Challenging Child Support Figures
The legal presumption is that the amount of child support as determined by the South Carolina Child Support Guidelines is correct. The presumption is rebuttable by a showing that certain factors and considerations need to be included in the child support calculation. When a parent or guardian makes a child support request, the courts should consider some of the following factors:
- Educational expenses
- Division of marital assets in a divorce
- Debts and who is responsible for paying those debts
- Do you have six children to support
- Extraordinary medical or dental expenses
- Mandatory deductions of retirement pensions and union fees
- Support for other children
- Monthly fixed payments imposed by a court or operation of law
- The child's income
- Whether the non-custodial parent's income is significantly less than the custodial parent's income (making the guidelines impractical)
- Alimony, and
- Any agreement by the parties if court finds it is in the best interest of the child.
What Murray Law Offices Can Do For You
At Murray Law Offices, attorney Heather Moore Sarvis handles all of our South Carolina child support issues. Call us today and schedule a consultation with us so that we can help you with your child support issue.
So, Don't Worry, Call Murray!