21 Feb Calculating Child Support in a South Carolina Divorce
South Carolina follows the majority of states in adopting the income shares model to calculate child support in a divorce. The income shares model is structured to mirror the amount of support children would receive if their parents were still married. This means a parent’s child support obligation will increase depending on how many children the parent has to support. To better understand what your child support obligation may be, there are a few key questions you should be able to answer prior to finalizing a divorce.
Calculating Child Support
South Carolina courts will consider the combined incomes of the parents. From there, they will derive a guideline support obligation based on tables provided by the state. The tables take into account average child-rearing expenses and updated cost of living expenses for families in South Carolina. South Carolina child support law states that there is a rebuttable presumption that following the guidelines is the amount the obligation should be set at for purposes of child support. When calculating the final child support amount, courts will take into account various considerations aside from your income and number of children, including health insurance premiums, amount of parenting time, and your income potential.
What is Included in “Gross Income” for Purposes of Determining Child Support?
Gross income is defined broadly as “income derived from all sources.” This means in addition to your regular wages, bonuses, and commissions, a court may consider:
- Rental income
- Severance pay
- Travel credit/housing allowances, reimbursed meals
- Income from assets
- Alimony that a parent will receive from the current case
- Veteran’s benefits
- Partnership income
Several sources of income that are NOT included in a parent’s gross income include:
- Alimony or child support awarded pursuant to a prior divorce
- Supplemental Social Security Income
- General Assistance
- Food stamps
Deviation from Child Support Guidelines
Non-custodial parents shall expect to be ordered to pay an amount in child support that reflects the ratio of that parent’s individual income to the parents’ combined incomes. That being said, there are factors that may warrant a deviation from guidelines. These factors may include but may not be limited to the following:
- If a parent is paying for extraordinary medical expenses necessary to preserve the life of a child
- If a parent is paying for a child’s medical or development needs
- If one parent is going to incur substantial travel costs in order to exercise court-ordered visitation
Contact A Mount Pleasant Child Support Attorney For Assistance
Calculating child support obligations can be largely dependent on your income and monthly expenses. This can cause a large argument between spouses depending on discrepancies in income. To help ensure your obligation is fair, you should hire the experienced Mount Pleasant, South Carolina family law attorneys at Klok Law Firm LLC. Our skilled family law attorneys can take you through the numbers and ensure you understand the calculations and formula used to reach the final amount.
Contact us today for a free consultation.