The starting point for discussing legal issues on child support is to understand that (on issues relating to divorce in SC) the family courts operate on principles of equity, or fairness to both sides. By thinking this way, versus like a sporting event with a winner and a loser, your mindset will not be anticipating that a family law judge is going to “slam” either party.
Whichever parent has the primary custody of the child or children of the marriage typically receives child support from the other. If parties cannot reach a mutual agreement, the amount is typically set during the custody hearing that is required by law in South Carolina in contested cases. Costs for the separate maintenance and support of children can be an issue in “fault” divorces or in no-fault divorces.
When the presiding judge must decide the right amount of child support, then much more legal work (for both sides’ family law attorneys) is usually required before any custody hearing or determination of what the monthly cost should be for necessities for the child or children. In these battles over childcare and child support Greenville, SC, both the plaintiff and defendant are typically living separate lives.
How to Check an Online Child Support Calculator SC
The State of South Carolina has an online “ballpark” estimation tool. You will notice when signing on that the South Carolina child support calculator disclaims being anything more than a rough estimate, and nothing more.
Child support is intended to benefit the children and is designed to pay for necessities. The child support calculator South Carolina shown in the link above has increased the overall fairness and equity of family law judges statewide. Also think in terms of SC divorce laws being tasked with being fair and equitable to both sides.
The usual essential, covered items that are considered proper categories of child support are:
- Health insurance premiums, and perhaps any amounts not paid due to a deductible;
- Dental and medical care costs, if not covered by insurance;
- Costs for the child’s educational necessities, which (after a divorce) may not cover private school tuition;
- Grocery and other food costs for the children or child;
- All or some part of housing costs for the child or children, such as rent or a house payment; and
- Proper and sufficient clothing and shoes for the children.
Factors That Play a Role in the Judge’s Determination of Child Support
The broad categories and applicable guidelines used by the family law judge look at the income of each parent, plus the number of covered children who are legally eligible to receive support. By this, any stepchildren of the custodial parent are not required to be covered by the paying parent.
The judge will want to know about the amount of time the covered child or children spends with each parent each week or month. In some instances, there may be extra medical costs, special academic needs, and daycare expenses, such as if a special needs child requires 24-hour supervision. Especially with “special” cases like this you need to bring in divorce attorneys near me who know how to navigate these specialized legal cases.
When calculating child support payments, the family courts in upstate SC look at the following:
- How many children are covered?
- Ages of each child, male or female, and any distinctive or special background information (e.g., one child is autistic).
- Do any children have special medical or educational needs?
- What are the parents’ educational backgrounds and competencies for purposes of making a living?
- What disposable income does each parent have, monthly?
- If any prior records of prior child payments exist (i.e., during their separation), the Court will want to know about that arrangement and amounts being paid.
- Other special or unique factors that the Judge decides are relevant to this case (example: one child is a music prodigy and has weekly, private lessons to cover).
Child Support Payments SC: Divorce Laws in South Carolina
The Palmetto State was the last in America to automate child support payments, despite (over 30 years ago on February 9, 1999) the federal government setting up federal regulations to get this accomplished. This SCDSS Child Support Customer Service Portal is now in place to expedite money getting to children on time. To see how it works, see this online video clip.
In 2022, most South Carolina families have both parents working at their places of employment. The COVID pandemic has caused a larger number to now be working from home, but that capability to focus on work also became a challenge when mall children had to stay home during outbreaks.
The payment of child support was never contemplated to be used as additional income to the other spouse who is receiving the monthly payments. The sole purpose is for the child or children to benefit from the support payments for “necessities.” Child support payments of one or more children are intended to cover the necessities outlined above. Yet the coronavirus pandemic altered the logistics of certain younger children’s daily home care and educational needs.
Greenville Child Support in a Divorce Action in Family Court Greenville, SC
Additional related links:
Child support enforcement SC in Spartanburg SC , when (after the divorce case) not receiving payments
Call today to speak with our attorneys near me in Upstate SC, and receive your free consultation lawyer phone call, virtual meeting or in person consult with our South Carolina lawyers. Contact us at 864-271-3535.