How Much is the Average Monthly South Carolina Child Support Payment?

Enduring a legal separation or divorce process in South Carolina is already difficult for everyone involved, especially children, but now the court is assigning your monthly child support payment.

The court assigns South Carolina child support according to your finances and responsibility for any children. Want to learn how much you could pay?

We have got you covered. We will discuss how the court will determine your child support payment and your estimated monthly payment. Read on to learn more.

Must-Know Basics About Child Support in South Carolina

According to the South Carolina Child Support Guidelines, either parent can request child support regardless of their responsibility for any children. Both parents must contribute to the well-being of any children.

Keep in mind that the SC court can order one or both parents to pay child support. If the parents of any children are under 18, the court may order the grandparents to pay child support.

How to Calculate Your South Carolina Child Support Payment

Calculating child support in South Carolina is not as straightforward as you may think. The court will calculate your monthly payment based on the SC Child Support guidelines. But, your payment may vary depending on your child custody arrangements.

Child support payments must cover the cost of any children’s education, medical care, childcare, among other necessary expenses. Your income and the number of children you have will influence your monthly payment as well. You may estimate your payment using a child support estimator, but the court does not only follow general guidelines.

The court will use their worksheets to determine your monthly payment. There is a different worksheet for every custody arrangement. It is recommended that you take a look at the worksheets and basic child support obligations table schedule in the South Carolina Child Support Guidelines.

Examples of South Carolina Child Support Payments

According to the US Census, the median household income in South Carolina is $5497. The South Carolina guidelines establish a basic child support obligation average between $793 to $1628. This range applies to parents of one to six children.

For example, a non-custodial parent of three children earns $3,000 a month. The custodial parent of all three children earns $1,500 per month.

If the non-custodial parent pays $250 a month to cover any children’s health insurance. The South Carolina Child Support Guidelines suggest the parent would pay about $762.67 in child support each month.

This payment may vary if the court uses Worksheet A from their guidelines to calculate the payment. This child support payment may decrease if the parents agree to a split custody arrangement.

An example of this is when Parent A holds custody of 2 of 3 children, earns $3,000 per month and pays $250 toward their health insurance. While Parent B takes care of 1 of 3 child, earns $1,500 a month, and pays $100 toward the child’s health insurance.

In this scenario Parent A would pay only $74.10 dollars per South Carolina guidelines. The court may assign a higher or lower payment if they use Worksheet B.

Bottom Line

There is not a one size fits all formula to calculate South Carolina child support. Your monthly payment may vary depending on your circumstances or custody arrangement, among other factors.

Before any child support hearing, you should hire a family law attorney who will protect your interests. Hiring the right lawyer will help you obtain the best outcome and fair child support payment.

Is your child support payment too high? You may be eligible for a modification if you or your child’s situation endured substantial changes.

Want to learn what modifications you may request? Read our article to learn more about your eligibility.

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5 Things You Should Know About Child Support Modifications

5 Things You Should Know About Child Support Modifications

Why you and your spouse got a divorce, you had a child support plan put in place.

Life went on, but for whatever reason, now you need to modify that plan.

Before you start trying to figure this out on your own, here are five essential things you should know about child support modifications in South Carolina

Reasons for Child Support Modifications

You can always ask for child support modifications, but not all cases will qualify.

For instance, If there is a substantial change in yours or your kids’ circumstances, there may be a possibility of receiving a modification in the form of an increase or decrease in benefits.   We cover some of those potential changes below.

Substantial Changes in Circumstances

Changes in the Needs of the Child

An example of a substantial change in the needs of a child would be if the child’s medical needs have increased; therefore, medical expenses have increased drastically.

In a situation like this, you would be reasonable to ask for child support modifications to increase the amount of child support received to offset the increased financial outlay of supporting the child.

Financial Changes

If one parent’s income changes drastically either up or down, it could constitute another reason for child support modifications.

Changes in Family Makeup

Perhaps the most common situation changing the family dynamic is when one of the children reaches the age of majority.  Thereby decreasing the number of children being cared for by one parent and in turn, potentially reduce the amount of child support provided.

Another scenario might be when/if custody changes from one parent to the other by one or all of the children. In this circumstance, a modification makes sense and is often necessary.

How to Change Support Payments

To modify your child support, one parent must request a hearing with either a Family Court or the Child Support Division of the Department of Social Services (depending on who set up the child support initially).  Contact our office, and we’ll walk you through the process.

Reasons for Denial of Child Support Modifications

While we’re trying to give you a good idea of how to approach modifications, keep in mind that not all requests for modification of child support will be approved.  You might have to reach out a family law attorney and formulate a strategy before seeking a modification.

Some reasons (but not all) that your request could be denied, include:

1. The change in your financial or family circumstance was anticipated when the original order of support was written.

2. The requesting party can easily pay the support ordered.

3. The paying person voluntarily left their job, took a lower paying job, or has not tried to find a job.

Keep Great Records

Now a bit of advice.  Whether you are requesting child support modifications or the other parent is, it is very important to keep records of everything that had to do with the child support.

Some examples of things to keep include records of payment, medical reimbursements, daycare expenses, and other similar expenditures.

Two Ways to Make Child Support Modifications

Not all situations involving modifications are contentious, and in that same light, not all situations involving modifications are agreeable by both parties.  Regardless of how you get along with the other parent, here’s what you can expect.

Parents That Agree:  If you and the other parent can agree to child support modifications, then you will not need to fight in court.  You can work with a judge and ask them to approve the modifications.  If the agreed upon amount is less than the state limit, you will have to explain why it is justified and how the amount will adequately provide for your child.

Ask the Court:  If you cannot agree on modification with the other parent, then you will need to go to court and have them help you make child support modifications. You will need to prove one of the above substantial changes to be granted either a temporary or permanent modification.  Don’t be the one that shows up to this fight without a lawyer!

Don’t Show Up Without a Lawyer!

If you need help with child support modifications, please contact us.

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