04 Apr What Information Do I Need for Child Support?
When meeting with a South Carolina Child Support Lawyer for the first time, there are a lot of questions you will likely want to ask. But you should also be prepared to bring a lot of documents and information with you, as these will help your attorney efficiently work through your situation and give you a more accurate picture of what child support you may owe. Here are some of the more important documents and information you will need for child support.
Number Of Children Receiving Support
South Carolina, like most other states, calculates child support based on the total number of children entitled to support. Adopted children are treated the same as blood-related children.
Custody Of Each Child
Custody is important because child support is usually paid by the non-custodial parent to the custodial parent. This can be offset for a number of reasons, but make sure you have the court order that awards custody.
How Many Days Each Child Spends With Each Parent Annually
The terms sole custody and joint custody are often confusing. Even though two people may share “joint custody,” it does not mean they will always have exactly 50/50 equal time with the children. It’s important to review your court order to see how much time is actually allocated to each parent.
Gross Monthly Income Of Each Parent
Look at the “before-tax” wages of each parent. If one parent has unusual or nonconforming income, such as tips, irregular commissions, or other types of income, an attorney will likely need to advise you on how to calculate it in order to accurately report it to the court.
Amount Of Any Alimony Payments
While parents are responsible for paying for the needs of their children, the law is not designed to leave either party entirely destitute. If alimony payments are so high that paying child support is financially impossible, then this needs to be brought to a judge’s attention.
Any Additional Alimony From Someone Else
If you receive alimony from a former spouse, this must be reported. Likewise, if you are paying alimony to a former spouse, this should be considered.
Children From Prior Relationships Living In The Household
The children being considered in your current custody or divorce case may not be the only children for whom you are responsible. The court will not want to give financial support to one child at the deprivation of others. Be sure to mention all of your children. The same is true if you are the support recipient and you have children from other relationships living in your household.
Who Pays For Health Insurance & Medical Expenses
Currently, federal law requires that all children maintain qualifying health insurance and dental coverage. Whether this is through South Carolina’s CHIP (Medicaid) program or private insurance, a parent needs to make sure this requirement is met at all times. If you are paying expensive health insurance premiums for your children, this should be considered in the equation.
Who Covers The Cost Of Child Care
Daycare is expensive. The court needs to know who is paying for the cost of daycare, preschool, or other child care arrangements.
Other Issues (college accounts, cost of athletic programs, and so forth)
Although South Carolina law does not allow reductions in child support simply because a parent is paying for other things like sporting activities, a judge may permit an offset in alimony or property distribution during a divorce when one parent is paying for various other child-related expenses. For instance, where there are multiple teenagers and one parent is fully funding a prepaid college account and paying for expensive athletic programs, a judge may take this into consideration when determining the parents’ property division.
Get Help Today
At Klok Law Firm LLC, we pride ourselves on keeping our clients informed and up-to-date on the latest information. Our clients are partners in their cases, and we are here to guide and counsel people through some of life’s most challenging situations. If you need help with your divorce or child support case, contact us to get help today.