After eight years, South Carolina finally updated some of its family law guidelines. As of July 1, 2014, new rules went into effect involving updated child support tables, daycare expenses in relation to tax credits, and shared custody guidelines. The new rules also affect split custody arrangements and how support is determined for custodial parents.

Many family law advocates in South Carolina have stated that the revisions are long overdue. While federal law requires that every state review its child support guidelines every four years, it does not require that each state revise them, as well.

By increasing the child support tables, there will be fewer child support cases that fall above the guidelines, and the new regulations regarding daycare expenses finally reflect the tax code. Additionally, the gradual transition in guidelines between sole and shared custody should result in fewer hard-fought cases about expenses. Hopefully, the change in split custody methods will more accurately reflect the costs of raising children in two households.

South Carolina Split Custody Law

The laws regarding child custody can be found in South Carolina Title 63, Chapter 15 of the Children’s Code. Split custody refers to custody arrangements where there are two or more children and each parent has physical custody of at least one child. Under the 2006 guidelines, the basic support amount was determined for the total number of children and then split as a percentage of children of which each parent retains custody.

Using the new 2014 guidelines, the family court first determines a theoretical support payment for the child or children in the custody of the other parent using Schedule B. The new guidelines calculate separate support payments for the child or children residing with each parent. The obligations are then offset, and the parent that owes the larger amount pays the difference to the other parent.

Simply explaining the new guidelines can be confusing, so here is an example of how the new rules differ from the old. Under the 2006 guidelines, a couple with three children and a combined income of $5,000 per month would have a combined child support obligation of $1,158. The parent in custody of one child would be credited with $386, or one-third of the amount, and the parent in custody of two children would receive $772, the remaining two-thirds of the amount. The parent with one child would then pay half of the difference to the parent with two children, which amounts to $193 per month.

Using the new guidelines for the same family, the support obligation for one child at that income level is $798 and the obligation for two children at that level is $1,151. The parent in custody of the one child now pays one-half of the difference of those amounts, which equals $176.50 per month.

Contact a Charleston Family Law Attorney Today

A split custody arrangement can be a complicated matter, and many parents are unsure if or how the new guidelines apply to their situation. If you or someone that you know has questions about the new child support guidelines or another family law issue in the Mount Pleasant area, let the attorneys at Klok Law Firm LLC help. Call or contact the office today for a confidential consultation of your case.